CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Australia's frozen CO2 standards

Europe's new plan to improve fuel economy standards makes Australian proposals look like a joke – and given our glacial speed in adopting new regulations, don't expect improvements to come quickly.

Last week the European Commission announced that by 2020, the average emissions from new cars in the European Union will have to be no more than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven and commercial vans will need to achieve an average of 147 grams. This builds on the 2015 requirement that passenger cars achieve an average of 130 grams CO2 per kilometre. To give you a feel what this means, a Toyota Yaris emits more than 130 grams and a Toyota Prius only just sneaks in under the 95g standard, with 90g CO2/km.

By comparison Australia’s proposed emissions and fuel economy standard, as outlined in the 2010 election, is a joke. The current proposal is for 190g by 2015 and 155g by 2024 as a "starting point for further consultation.”  

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