The ACT Government has released a strategy document detailing how vehicle emissions can be reduced, including encouraging electric vehicle and car pooling and sharing.
In the discussion document released by the ACT Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, measures that might be adopted include promoting the purchase and use of low emission vehicles by reducing the cost of green vehicles, an offering discounts on green vehicle registrations.
The ACT is also looking at reducing travel time and boost convenience by allowing green vehicles access to transit lanes and reserved parking spaces. Heavy vehicles may also get conversion grants to switch to more sustainable low emission fuels.
Corbell described the plan “as a key element for the government’s commitments to making our city a better place to live, work and do business.”
In the Low Emission Vehicle Strategy discussion paper the Government details three major steps in reduced vehicle generated green house gas emissions; to promote the purchase and use of low emission vehicles, for the ACT government to lead by example, to promote a change in driver behaviour.
According to the report, transport has the second highest share of emissions by sector for the ACT, standing at 23 per cent after electricity at 61 per cent. (The ACT already has a goal of 90 per cent renewable energy for 2020).
The plan will ultimately target passenger vehicles, which dominate in both the number of vehicles, 83.6 per cent, and emissions, 73.5 per cent.
The paper also notes that as newer models of cars arrive each year, average emissions tend to trend downwards with an average around 200 g/co2/km in 2012 compared to around 250 g/co2/km in 2002.
Changes in driver behaviour will come from car sharing programs, carpooling programs and a green driving program.The ACT has already started to replace some fleet cars with zero emission electric cars, and is “looking at opting for lower emissions vehicles when leases expire”.
Currently the territory has the lowest emission intensity of any government vehicle fleet in Australia, with hybrid, electric and diesel vehicles.
Corbell noted that this is one part to a long-term goal of “lowering emissions as the ACT moves towards carbon neutrality by 2060”.
The ACT encourages members of the public to comment on the strategy with submissions.