National standards for car emissions in Australia, even after recently announced Labor policy, would still be weaker than that of the EU and of California.
Labor has announced a policy that would require car emissions to have a maximum of 190 grams CO2/kilometre by 2015 and 155 grams/km by 2024 as a starting point for consultation. This represents cuts of 14% to 30% on 2008 levels, respectively. However, compared to Europe and California, we are still behind. In Europe, regulations require that, by 2012, car emissions will have no more than 130 grams CO2/kilometre. And in California, regulations require a maximum of 156 grams/kilometre by 2016.
“For Australia to achieve major emissions reductions, we need to take real action and a very simple step is to bring our car emission standards in line with best practice international standards,” said Bernard Carlon of the NSW Dept of Environment & Climate Change. “This is a critical piece of policy given the importance of transport in Australia’s emissions profile, representing 14% of 2010 total emissions of which 87% is road transport.”
Mr Carlon was speaking at the 6th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change & Business Conference where over 350 delegates have gathered to look at what business can do now to reduce emissions, and what is needed from government.
“Emissions standards are just one of the policies called for by business,” says Gary Taylor, Chairman of the Climate Change & Business Centre, one of the organisers behind the Conference.
“The input from a range of business sectors, including power, transport, building, industry, forestry and agriculture all indicate that, with the right policy settings, we can certainly achieve a 15% reduction in emissions by 2020.”
“The policy setting required include a price on carbon across the Australian economy plus a range of complementary measures such as improved emissions standards for vehicles,” Mr Taylor concluded.
The Australia-New Zealand Climate Change & Business Conference runs from 10-12 August at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. The event has over 350 delegates from Australia and New Zealand, including business leaders, policy makers, non-government organizations and academia. The event is organized by The Climate Change & Business Centre and Point Carbon Thomson Reuters.