The NRMA is calling for the phasing-out of all internal combustion engines by 2025, hoping to see more electric vehicles on the road to meet the requisite emissions targets of the Paris Climate Accord.
NRMA CEO, Rohan Lund, spoke with the ABC’s Four Corners, stating outright that Australia has work to do in order to catch up to international standards.
“If anything, our targets here need to be a bit more aggressive than what we’re seeing in other markets,
Australia is one of the globe’s few developed nations without an emission’s target for the automotive sector. The move is far from unprecedented, with the UK and France having previously announced their plans to “phase out of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, and other countries including Germany and China have indicated they intend to follow a similar path.”
As it stands, there are a mere 7,300 electric cars on the road in Australia, accounting for just 0.2 per cent of new car sales annually.
“I would expect to start seeing targets that are between 2025, 2030 for banning [the sale of new] petrol driven cars in this country.” Lund said.
“We don’t manufacture cars here - we’re the recipients of the cars coming from Europe and Asia…. I think in many ways we won’t have a choice in this country.”
According to stats cited by the ABC, transport contributes to 19 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. “About half of these emissions come from cars.”
The ABC also sat down with Dr Rebecca Michael, head of public policy for Queensland-based motoring body - and Best Practice client - RACQ, who advocates for the transport sector to take the lead when it came to emissions.
“When we look at Paris, the Government hasn’t set what emissions reductions are for transport,” she said.
(Graphic courtesy of the ABC’s Stephanie March’s report)
“There is an unspoken imperative that we need to do more, but what does it look like?” she asked.
“The Government needs to put certainty on those [Paris] targets- we’ve signed up to an agreement and we’ve got silent…. Doing nothing is not an option, we are not going to get there by accident.”
Australia’s federal government has announced intent to develop a national electric vehicle strategy, but has come under fire from groups like the Electric Vehicle Council who say the plan lacks urgency, and remains unclear.