Major Projects Minister Paul Fletcher said that the Ministerial Forum will be supported by a working group which will be asked to examine issues including implementation of Euro 6, fuel quality standards, fuel efficiency measures (CO2) for light vehicles, as well as emission testing arrangements.
“This Ministerial Forum will allow the Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt, the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg and myself to consult broadly with industry with the aim of reducing harmful emissions on Australian roads and in our cities from motor vehicles” Mr Fletcher said.
“Presently we do not have the same levels of smog pollution in Australia that other countries face. Nevertheless, we must work hard to keep our air clean and reduce CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change by ensuring our new vehicles meet world’s best standards.
“Tough noxious emissions standards already ensure that air quality in Australian cities is good by international standards, but we are taking direct action on climate change through a range of initiatives. It is the Australian Government’s policy to harmonise our vehicle standards with international standards developed through the United Nations.
“We have recently adopted the United Nations based Euro 5 noxious emissions standards for light and heavy vehicles and are now considering the adoption of Euro 6. We are also working with other countries to improve the vehicle testing arrangements for noxious emissions,” Mr Fletcher said.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said improving the efficiency of vehicles can assist with fuel bills.
“The Government has set a goal of improving national energy productivity by 40 per cent by 2030. Improving the efficiency of vehicles is part of this goal, which can assist in lowering the household and business fuel bills of Australians. The Government will consult broadly and work with stakeholders to ensure that Australians have access to more efficient vehicles” Mr Frydenberg said.
The Minister for the Environment said a series of programmes and policies were already in place that target vehicle emissions, however the Australian Government would continue its work on meeting the challenge of reducing them further.
“This includes consideration of the independent Review of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 which will report to the Government in the first half of next year,” Mr Hunt said.
“The Australian Government is committed to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions so they are 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
“This announcement forms part of Australia’s preparations for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Paris this December. The conference will see negotiations conclude on a new global climate agreement,” Mr Hunt said.
Australia already has in place a mandatory consumer information programme that mandates fuel efficiency labelling on new cars, as well as a voluntary programme through the Green Vehicle Guide that aims to assist consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
The Government will examine further measures such as incentives and standards to encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles.
For more information on the Green Vehicle Guide, please visit www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au
The terms of reference for this forum follow.
Terms of Reference
The Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, will constitute a Ministerial Forum, chaired by the Minister for Major Projects and supported by an interdepartmental working group led by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, to coordinate a whole-of-Australian-government approach to addressing vehicle emissions, including testing and reporting arrangements.
The working group will consult broadly with industry stakeholders and coordinate work already underway through different government agencies to examine a range of issues including:
- implementation of Euro 6 or equivalent standards for new vehicles;
- fuel efficiency (CO2) measures for new light vehicles;
- fuel quality standards;
- emissions testing arrangements for vehicles in conjunction with international regulatory agencies to ensure robust testing;
- Australian Government measures under the National Clean Air Agreement;
- Emissions Reduction Fund and Safeguard Mechanism – transport measures;
- future infrastructure to support new vehicles, including funding available through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency; and
- National Energy Productivity Plan.
The working group will 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.
The working group will report by 31 March 2017 to the Ministerial Forum on a draft implementation plan for new measures – aligning with the Government’s commitment to announce new measures to deliver Australia’s 2030 climate change targets.