Fairness must be central in vehicle emissions reductions
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) today welcomed the release of the Australian Government’s Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper and again called for transport cost and equity to remain central considerations in the Government’s plan to reduce vehicle emissions.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “There is strong agreement on the need to reduce emissions across all sectors of our economy. And there’s agreement that motoring should be cleaner and more affordable. But questions remain about the road we take to get there.
“The issues being looked at by the Ministerial Forum have the capacity to directly impact the affordability and sustainability of motoring and the quality of life of Australian families.
“As such it’s really important we don’t end up with unintended consequences that may impact fuel prices, reduce the choice of vehicles available to consumers, restrict travel options or slow down the overall renewal and modernising of Australia’s car fleet.”
Mr Bradley also called for adequate time to be spent consulting in order to ensure emissions reductions are achieved in a fair and cost effective manner.
“Having seen the level of detail in the discussion paper, it’s becoming clear that a great deal of consultation will be required on behalf of the Government to arrive at fair and effective policy settings,” Mr Bradley said.
The working group is due to report by 30 June 2016 to the Ministerial Forum on measures including options for managing fuel quality standards, options for new measurement reporting standards for air pollutants under the National Clean Air Agreement and other measures, and by 31 March 2017 on a draft implementation plan for new measures.
The AAA recently released the Greenhouse & Vehicle Emissions Policy Principles that will guide its ongoing policy development and assessment of proposed regulatory options.
The Principles are:
The AAA endorses greenhouse and other pollution abatement measures that deliver abatement at least cost to vehicle owners and the broader Australian economy, balancing the affordability and sustainability of motoring in Australia;
The AAA endorses a policy response underpinned by equity and flexibility and which does not prescribe sector, purpose, or technology-specific outcomes;
The AAA endorses a whole-of-economy consideration of both the issues of air quality improvement and greenhouse gas emission reduction, and the measures introduced to deliver desired outcomes;
The choice of vehicle types offered to the Australian market should not be restricted;
The adoption of any foreign or international emissions standards must take into consideration the Australian new vehicle fleet and how and why it differs from those found in other markets; and
Independent testing of vehicle emissions under real world driving conditions must be undertaken using Australian vehicles on Australian roads.