The transport sector has an important role to play in reducing Australia's greenhouse
gas emissions. In 1996, the transport sector accounted for 17 per cent of
Australia's total net greenhouse emissions, with the majority of these emissions from
passenger cars, four wheel drives and light commercial vehicles. Between 1990 and 1996,
emissions from the transport sector were the fastest growing of any sector in the
Australian economy, growing by 15 per cent in this period.
The key measures being pursued by the Commonwealth under the National Greenhouse Strategy are the Environmental Strategy for the Motor Vehicle Industry, the Compressed Natural Gas Infrastructure Programme, and support for an ethanol pilot plant. The implementation of these measures is well under way.
These measures complement the Government's existing fuel excise exemption for the alternative transport fuels of liquefied petroleum gas, CNG, ethanol and other alcohol blends. The cost to revenue in 1999-2000 of this exemption is estimated to be $710 million, the bulk of which is from liquified petroleum gas. The Government is continuing the exemption to encourage the use of more environmentally friendly transport fuels.
The Government remains committed to working with State and Territory Governments to progress microeconomic reform within the transport sector. As with a number of other greenhouse measures, strategies for the transport sector require coordinated action by the Commonwealth, State and Territory and local governments through the National Greenhouse Strategy.
|Box 8.7: Environmental Strategy for the Motor Vehicle
The Government has allocated $500,000 over the years 1998-99 and 1999-00 for the Environmental Strategy for the Motor Vehicle Industry. The Environmental Strategy focuses on improving the fuel efficiency of new vehicles, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. It includes measures to encourage the supply of more fuel-efficient vehicles to the market, as well as measures to encourage consumers (both private and fleet buyers) to consider fuel consumption in their purchase decisions. Negotiations are continuing with the motor vehicle industry on the setting of National Average Fuel Consumption (NAFC) targets for new cars, in the context of the Government's expectation of a 15 per cent improvement over business-as-usual in the NAFC by 2010. A public consultation process on a draft Australian Design Rule on vehicle fuel consumption labelling is under way. The Government is also in the process of establishing a fuel efficiency target for Commonwealth fleet operations to apply from 2003.
The Environmental Strategy also includes measures to reduce noxious emissions from new motor vehicles, including a reiteration of the Government's commitment to harmonisation with international vehicle emission standards. In this regard, the Federal Office of Road Safety is managing a major review of Australia's vehicle emission standards with the aim of introducing tighter standards early next century, and harmonising with international standards. The ultimate objective is improved air quality in Australia's major urban areas.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1883
The Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS) is managing a research project investigating the noxious emissions performance of current model cars under current and proposed United States and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe emission standards. The aim of the project is to assess the relative stringency of the various tests to assist the Motor Vehicle Environment Committee in its deliberations on the introduction of tighter new vehicle standards in the early part of next century. The testing has been contracted to the Ford Motor Company's vehicle emissions laboratory. Funding for the project is $50,000 from FORS Research Budget plus $50,000 from Environment Australia.
Contact: Department of Transport and Regional Services -- 02 6274 7381