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New used import emission standards are vital

New used import emission standards are vital

A government proposal to introduce tougher emission standards for used vehicle imports is supported by The Sustainable Business Network’s GreenFleet programme. A reduction in the age of the vehicles coming on to the road as well as rigorous in-service emissions testing is vital if we are to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

The unrestricted import of used motor vehicles has done nothing to improve the age or emission standards of used cars entering the fleet. The average age of used imports arriving in the country now stands at over 10 years, an increase of 2 years since 2000. These aged vehicles are contributing the health problems, in particular child-hood asthma, associated with these high emission vehicles.

“If we are serious about tackling air quality, health and climate change issues, then we need to ensure that cars reaching the road in New Zealand will meet improving standards”, says Mark Roberts, GreenFleet Programme Manager. “There are a range of measures in the pipeline to tackle vehicle emissions and climate change. These will be pointless if we are soft on the used cars that are allowed to enter the country”.
Actively reducing the age of used imports will have the co-benefit of helping New Zealand take advantage of the introduction of newer technologies such as biofuels and improved catalytic converters. “Many used imports have almost junk status in their country of origin because they will be unable to adapt to newer fuels and their own emission standards”. says Mark Roberts.

Government needs to prevent aged vehicles entering the fleet and implement rigorous emissions testing whilst vehicles are in service.

The next steps in tackling climate change and the health toll associated with vehicle emissions should be to implement proposals to have fuel efficiency labelling on used vehicles and tougher in service emission testing.

The SBN promotes sustainable practice in New Zealand and supports businesses on the path to becoming sustainable. We link businesses with NGO’s, Government and others and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences equipping our members for success. The SBN operates GreenFleet, an initiative in sustainable transport that helps businesses run their fleets efficiently and offset the carbon emission of their fleets through tree planting.


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