Cash for clunkers’ scheme – reducing automotive greenhouse gasses

Cash for clunkers’ scheme – reducing automotive greenhouse gasses

Posted 18 April 2012

The Federal Government’s scheme: of providing $400 million as a $2,000 Cleaner Car Rebate for owners of pre 1995 vehicles who upgrade their cars to new greenhouse rating six or higher vehicles; has some benefits but many concerns.

Firstly, the funding of the scheme was being siphoned from renewable energy programs, and $220 million from the solar flagship program, rather than taken from the polluting sector, i.e. from existing funding for fossil fuel subsidies or revenue from the fuel excise: as outlined by the Greens. So it is at the expense of other environmental programs.

Secondly, there are about 2 million pre – 1995 vehicles on our roads; this scheme hoped to reduce that figure by 200,000. It does not target the transport sector; and it would seem more beneficial to remove a delivery vehicle that is on the road all day, than a car used to drive the kids to school and do some occasional shopping.

Also, the requirement of purchasing a new car will limit the uptake of this scheme and the target of 200,000 vehicles may be questionable. How many people driving a 15 year old car, that hasn’t yet been upgraded, be able to afford a new veichle?

Alternatively, where there are plans to eventually introduce a carbon tax for polluters. There should also be rewards for minimising pollution.  If we are serious about reducing our greenhouse gases, then there should be in place a registration pollution levy on heavily polluting cars, such as V8s and 4WDs, and a credit scheme for electric, dedicated LPG, LNG and diesel passenger vehicles, that use less fossil fuel or create less greenhouse gases.

Ultimately, we should seek to reduce our dependence on imported and heavily refined fossils fuels.


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