Australian Government's ongoing challenge to achieve fuel efficiency standards by 2025 can impact on 2015 Paris Agreement

Anna Mortimore*, Hope Ashiabor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a clear need for the introduction of fuel efficiency standards to reduce road transport emissions which have increased since 1990 and are at their peak in 2017. Fuel efficiency standards have been adopted by over 80% of the global vehicle market and have successfully helped to reduce road transport emissions. This article considers the failed policy transfer by Australian Governments in adopting fuel efficiency standards and critically assesses the rhetoric across the political spectrum - the continuing climate discourse and climate politics between the Australian Government and industry actors since 1996 to 2017. While public statements paid lip service to reducing road emissions, climate action ultimately reflected industry interests. The upshot is a failed regulatory regime; increasing consumer demand for higher CO₂ emitting vehicles and an international reputation that Australia is a laggard in reducing road transport emissions. With the Australian Government ratifying the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the international expectation is for climate discourse and climate politics to come to a head and for Australia to finally phase in internationally harmonised fuel efficiency standards by 2025.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-298
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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