The ministerial forum will be chaired by major projects minister Paul Fletcher with the support of a working group and will examine issues including the implementation of Euro 6 emissions standards, fuel quality standards, fuel efficiency measures for light vehicles, and emissions testing arrangements.
The government will also examine measures such as incentives and standards to encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles.
The working group will report to the ministerial forum by June 30, 2016 on measures including ways to manage fuel quality standards and options for new measurement reporting standards for air pollutants, among other measures.
By March 31, 2017 the working group will issue 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.
The government has previously set a goal of improving Australia’s energy productivity by 40 per cent by 2030, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions so that they are 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
“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,” 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.”
Australia is currently in an emissions regulation phase called Euro 5 Core, which is essentially a lighter version of Euro 5. The full Euro 5 emissions regulation is set to be introduced from November 2016, with Euro 6 to follow in July 2017.