Auto lobby alarmed by plans for emissions cap

Australia does not have greenhouse emissions or fuel efficiency regulations for transport

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Andrew McKellar has declared that such mandatory standards were "impractical" and would clash with the introduction of emisisons trading in Australia, according to The Age (27/7/2007 p. 3).

International trend towards stricter emissions rules: Speaking at a business lunch in Melbourne, McKellar said local car makers had been alarmed by a footnote in the recent Prime Minister’s taskgroup report on emissions trading, highlighting the international trend towards stricter emissions rules. Australia does not have greenhouse emissions or fuel efficiency regulations for transport.

Australia still behind other countries in cutting emissions: The industry has a voluntary target of cutting emissions from new light vehicles (including passenger cars, four-wheel-drives and light trucks) by 18 per cent between 2002 and 2010, which McKellar said the industry was on track to achieve. But CSIRO transport expert David Lamb said that even if car makers did make those voluntary savings, Australia would still be a long way behind other countries in cutting transport emissions.

Strict regulation drives change: "For every change that has been proposed to improve safety or fuel efficiency, the car makers have traditionally reacted by saying ‘this is going to be too expensive or too difficult’," said Lamb, who leads the low-emissions transport section of the CSIRO’s EnergyTransformed Flagship. “But when you look back over recent decades at how we’ve managed to achieve any big improvements in transport like road safety, you can see that strict regulation drives changes much faster than anything else." In 2005, road transport in Australia produced 71 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution or about 13 per cent of the national total.

The Age, 27/7/2007, p. 3

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