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Financial incentives needed to clean up car fleet

Financial incentives needed to clean up car fleet

The Greens are welcoming the Government’s suggestion it might label cars to indicate how much gas they guzzle, but are urging it to take stronger steps to encourage Kiwis to choose more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“I’m pleased the Government is looking at providing motorists with information about the fuel-efficiency of the cars they buy, but we need to move beyond this simple provision of information,” Green Co-Leader and Transport Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons said.

“Some of the people driving the worst gas-guzzling cars don’t actually care about climate change. What we need is strong financial incentives encouraging car importers to bring in more fuel-efficient cars into the country, and car buyers to choose these more environmentally-friendly vehicles.”

Ms Fitzsimons said the Government now had the power to set fuel-efficiency standards which would create these financial incentives .

“My Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act gives the Government the power to set efficiency standards for vehicles. This is best done by legislating for the average efficiency of all new cars brought in by each vehicle importer. This allows the market to meet that standard in whatever way it chooses.

“Some importers may choose to sell only fuel-efficient cars. Others may make their worst gas-guzzlers more expensive and their most fuel-efficient cars cheaper, so their overall imports will meet this average standard. This would provide a market-led solution to the grave environmental problem of climate change.”

Ms Fitzsimons said the Government’s moves to provide fuel-efficiency labelling was a welcome first step.

“Environmentalists and motorists have been calling for fuel-efficiency labelling – and, indeed, for standards – for thirty years. While it is concerning that successive governments have been so slow to do so, I am pleased this Government is finally thinking about taking some steps in the right direction.”

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