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Plea to change emissions targets ignored

New-car industry “disappointed” with lack of changes to clean car standard following submissions.
Posted on 24 December, 2021
Plea to change emissions targets ignored

The Motor Industry Association (MIA) says while emissions targets for 2026 and 2027 for the clean car standard may be reconsidered, what the government is planning post-2025 remains “far more aggressive” than what the new-car industry can achieve.

Chief executive David Crawford says the association “remains disappointed” with the outcome of a select committee report on the Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill, which will legislate for the standard and clean car discount.

That’s because changes to the standard lobbied for by the MIA and wider automotive industry during the submissions process have basically been ignored. 

Using super credits, alterations to weight-adjusted targets and lower emissions targets have all been ruled out.

Crawford, pictured, says: “The ability to set targets for zero-emissions vehicles [ZEVs] remains as does the ZEV mandate. There is no change to the provision to limit high-emissions vehicles. 

“The report also recommends some amendments to, in their words, tidy up the definition of new and used vehicles.

“The report also erroneously reports we oppose the bill. We do not. We oppose the targets in the bill.”

Officials’ recommendations

In addition to the select committee’s report, the government’s department report was also released on December 22. This provided a number of recommendations to the select committee.

Crawford notes what he describes as an “interesting set of recommendations” on targets for the clean car standard.

The report states: “We have advised the minister that the proposed targets in the bill could be adjusted in response to submitter concerns regarding the achievability of these targets.

“The minister has indicated he is willing to consider options in relation to the current cabinet-agreed targets for years 2026 and 2027.

“The minister agreed we could provide the committee with the above analysis on the issue.

“Notwithstanding any changes the [select] committee recommends, or that cabinet may agree, officials consider it remains important that the cabinet reviews the targets in 2024, particularly given the uncertain supply of low and zero-emissions utes and other commercial vehicles over the 2025-26 period.”

Essentially, the changes recommended by the select committee include a new clause requiring the Minister of Transport to review emissions targets for the clean car standard before 2024, that the minister be required to consult when setting targets, and that targets post 2027 be in-line with the government’s emissions reduction plan.

Other recommendations include a change to the point at which a vehicle has been “imported”. This will be when it goes through entry inspection and certification under the Land Transport Act (LTA). 

A CO2 account number must be provided before any light vehicle imported can be complied. Another recommendation is that CO2 credits cannot be traded between importers of new and used vehicles. The committee also suggests the definition of used be aligned with the LTA with ex-demonstrators classed as used vehicles.