Energy boss says Australia will be left behind if it doesn't improve emissions standards for cars, as VW launches an eco-friendly sea-freighter.
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A reformed high-flying energy executive who made millions selling coal and gas has taken aim at the Australian government's inaction on new-car emissions standards, according to The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

Trevor St Baker, the founder of electricity company ERM Energy and board member of the Energy Policy Institute of Australia, said the country needs stricter emissions targets for motor vehicles, or Australia risks being left behind.

"The world's dirty cars will come here and the electric cars won't come here unless there is going to be a market," said St Baker.

"There won't be a market here unless we're establishing vehicle emission standards as good as the rest of the world."

The 80-year-old made his fortune through coal and gas, but has pivoted to investing in green projects, such as electric vehicle charging network Evie Network and electric vehicle charging station manufacturer Tritium.

Volkswagen launches greener cargo ships

St Baker's comments come as German car maker Volkswagen announced it was launching a car-carrying sea freighter powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

While cargo ships are typically powered by Heavy Fuel Oil that causes significant polluting, Volkswagen's new LNG ship reduces carbon emissions by 25 per cent, soot particles by 60 per cent, and sulphur oxide emissions by 100 per cent.

It's part of the German automaker's commitment to become CO2 neutral by 2050.

The vehicle sea freighter, called Siem Confucius, is the first of two LNG vehicle freighters built for Volkswagen. But the two ships will only be used to transport cars from Europe to North and Central America.

Despite producing zero emissions themselves, electric vehicles – like all new cars sold in Australia – have a significant carbon footprint before they arrive at dealerships due to the heavy polluting of cargo ships.

Volkswagen Group Logistics is responsible for around 7700 cargo ship routes, moving 2.8 million cars annually.