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A Joint Statement by
Senator Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment
John Moore, Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism
Senator Warwick Parer, Minister for Resources and Energy

MOTOR VEHICLE INDUSTRY TO PLAY MAJOR PART IN REDUCING GLOBAL WARMING


20 November 1997

A key element of the new Climate Change package outlined by the Prime Minister is the Environmental Strategy for the Motor Vehicle Industry (ESMVI).

The reforms announced will significantly enhance the environmental performance of the automotive industry, producing cleaner air and fewer emissions.

The Commonwealth Government will negotiate with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and the major automotive companies in order to achieve a 15 per cent improvement in the fuel efficiency of new passenger vehicles by 2010.

All new cars will carry fuel efficiency labelling to allow consumers an immediate and simple guide on the fuel consumption of their vehicles. Emission standards will be tightened so that from 2006 Australian cars will conform to international emission standards.

Other measures include:



Federal Environment Minister, Robert Hill said that motor vehicles remain a significant source of Australia's greenhouse emissions as well as the main contributors to air pollution in our cities.

"Our latest figures show that around 14 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions come from transport with those emissions increasing by 11 per cent between 1990 and 1995.

"The measures announced today will significantly reduce greenhouse and noxious emissions from motor vehicles over the next decade; at the same time improving fuel efficiency."

Industry Minister John Moore said that environmental performance is becoming an increasingly important factor in local and export markets.

"The ESMVI will improve the competitiveness of the Australian automotive industry, as well as achieve environmental benefits.

"Australia has some important competitive advantages in such areas as light metals, alternative fuels and fuel injection technologies, which will help to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

"While the measures announced by the Prime Minister today are challenging, they are achievable if the car industry, governments and consumer groups work together."

The details of the ESMVI will be further developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, car manufacturers, the fuel industry and consumer organisations. Lead times and model cycles of the car manufacturers have been taken into account.

Final details, including the fuel consumption targets for 2005 and 2010, will be released early next year.

Details of the Environmental Strategy for the Automotive Industry are attached.

Media contacts:
Matt Brown (Senator Hill's Office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Cheryl Cartwright ( John Moore's Office) (02) 62777580
Bob Baudino (Senator Parer's Office) (02 6277 7440 or 0419 438 818




AUTO ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY - SUMMARY STATEMENT



The Government has decided the key elements of a strategy which will engage the automotive industry, car fleet operators and lessees (including the Commonwealth itself) and car consumers in a concerted effort to reduce Greenhouse emissions from cars and to improve urban air quality. Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles accounted for 10% of Australiaís total net Greenhouse emissions in 1995, and for 26% of the growth in total emissions (excluding land use change) over the preceding five years.

The strategy will also enhance the international competitiveness of the Australian automotive industry as it moves to meet the exacting standards for fuel efficiency and emissions performance demanded by its leading export markets. Key elements of the strategy are:

FUEL EFFICIENCY TARGETS The Commonwealth will negotiate with the industry new targets for National Average Fuel Consumption (NAFC) for the years 2005 and 2010. After negotiation with major stakeholders, these targets will be expected to yield improvements of 15% against projections based on business-as-usual. The major auto manufacturers and importers will be invited to nominate the specific initiatives by which they will support the achievement of these targets. Light commercial vehicles and 4-wheel drives will be brought into the NAFC framework. Negotiations on the new NAFC targets and supporting initiatives of companies to be completed within six months.
FUEL EFFICIENCY LABELLING A new Australian Design Rule will be introduced to require that model-specific fuel consumption labels are affixed to all new cars to be sold in Australia. The Commonwealth will consult with industry to ensure that the Fuel Consumption Guide is made prominently available at points of sale, and electronically, as a reference source for comparison of fuel consumption performance. Performance levels reported on labels and in the Guide will be subject to random check testing.
COMMONWEALTH FLEET The Commonwealth will develop options for challenging but realistic fuel efficiency targets for the Commonwealth car fleet from 2003. These options will ensure that local manufacturers can supply the Commonwealthís fleet requirements within the specified targets.
CONSUMER PARTNERSHIPS The Commonwealth will work with key consumer groups - the motoring organisations, private fleet operators and organisations leasing fleets, and State and local governments - to encourage them to support fuel efficiency objectives, including through Greenhouse Challenge Agreements where appropriate.
EMISSION STANDARDS Noxious emissions standards for vehicles will be progressively tightened by 2003, with a view to achieving full harmonisation with international standards by 2006, consistent with our international harmonisation policies. The harmonisation agenda will be pursued through the existing legislative and consultative mechanisms for developing emission standards, which involve the Commonwealth, States and Territories (including Transport and Environment agencies), industry and other stakeholders.
LEADED PETROL The Government will bring forward the phase-out of leaded fuel ahead of 2010, with details of implementation to address social equity issues. The Government will consult with motoring organisations and the petroleum industry to develop options for meeting the adjustment needs of owners of leaded petrol vehicles.
HIGH OCTANE FUEL The Government will consult with the petroleum and automotive industries to facilitate the accelerated introduction of high octane fuel as a widely available, competitively priced fuel, offering advantages in both vehicle performance and fuel efficiency.


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