Australia at risk of becoming a dumping ground for high-polluting cars, warns UK study
A recent study from a UK climate change think tank has raised concerns about countries, including Australia, that lack emissions policies becoming targets for older, higher-polluting cars. The report, released by Carbon Tracker, suggests that regions outside of Europe and North America, known as the ‘Global South’, are particularly vulnerable due to the absence of emissions standards targets.
Unlike Europe, which plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, Australia does not have any nationwide plans to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles. The Australian Capital Territory is currently the only jurisdiction that has announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel passenger vehicles by 2035.
Criticism regarding Australia’s lack of emissions targets has been circulating for years, with concerns raised about the country potentially becoming a dumping ground for dirtier cars. Despite announcing plans to work on a motor vehicle emissions reduction scheme in 2023, the Australian government has yet to implement any legislative changes.
Carbon Tracker’s report also highlights the potential impact on Australia’s ability to import used electric cars. Other regions have implemented recycling policies that encourage reusing parts for future vehicles, but countries without emissions targets may miss out on these opportunities.
While adopting policies to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles can help reduce emissions, Australia’s reliance on coal-fired power plants has limited the effectiveness of battery-powered vehicles in reducing greenhouse gases, according to previous studies.
The study echoes a report by Mitsubishi, which found similar results and raises concerns about the country’s lack of progress in emissions reduction.
Overall, it is crucial for Australia and other countries without emissions policies to take action to avoid becoming destinations for high-polluting cars. Implementing emissions standards targets and actively encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles are key steps in reducing emissions and promoting sustainable transportation.