AA supports vehicle emissions standards but doubts remain over target

28 January 2021

AA supports vehicle emissions standards but doubts remain over target

The AA is supportive of the Government’s announcements today to reduce transport emissions, but is concerned that the proposed targets may not be possible within the timeframe.

“The proposed emissions target for 2025 is an aspirational target that may not be achievable,” says AA spokesperson Mark Stockdale. “We understand the intentions behind it and our Members want to see more low-emissions vehicles available here but the risk is that this target could simply result in higher prices for new cars that still don’t meet the emissions standard. That could even result in people holding onto their older, higher emissions car for longer.”

A move that is welcomed by the AA is the announcement to investigate a biofuels mandate that could make fuels sold at the pump become lower-emitting. “The emissions standards focus on the approximately 300,000 vehicles entering the fleet every year, but we also need to reduce the emissions from the existing fleet of some 4.6 million vehicles. Biofuels are one way to do that, especially second-generation biofuels which are fully compatible with any motor vehicle,” Mr Stockdale says.

Mr Stockdale says the AA is disappointed that the revised emissions targets developed by an industry working group in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport have not been adopted. “This proposed the same target, but for 2028, which would give the car industry enough time to source vehicles for the New Zealand market.

“As it is the proposed targets are the most stringent of any country in the world, and the timeframe is just too short.”

“Everyone who owns a petrol or diesel motor vehicle is already collectively contributing 8c per litre for a collective $420m a year to offset transport emissions through the ETS. Right now none of this money is actually being targeted at reducing emissions, and the AA thinks it should be. Within a few years, that fund will rise to $800m a year, and this money must be used to help establish a viable second-generation biofuels industry, and to fund other initiatives to reduce transport emissions and incentivise the uptake of low-emissions vehicles,” Mr Stockdale added.

The AA also supports the development and introduction of a feebate scheme which would complement an emissions standard. “Other countries have both an emissions standard and a feebate scheme, and their experience shows that both work to reduce emissions from new vehicles entering the fleet,” Mr Stockdale says.

The AA also wants a broader fleet strategy developed by the government and motor industry to devise an action plan to reduce transport emissions and also improve the safety of the fleet. In addition to emissions standards and biofuels, this could also investigate scrappage schemes and other incentives such as depreciation allowances and fringe benefit taxes.

For more information contact:

Mark Stockdale
AA Principal Advisor - Regulations
New Zealand Automobile Association
T. +64 4 931 9986
M. +64 21 434 097
E. [email protected]

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