The Volkswagen uproar prompts Australia to reconsider car emissions standards

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The Australian government stated it would reassess its testing procedures for vehicle emissions after the recent scandal ignited by VW. Recent media reports in Australia have brought to light the country’s loose standards regarding cars pollution. Therefore, the government reacted and stated that environment, major projects and energy ministers would work on a plan aimed at reducing vehicle emissions and increasing the fuel efficiency of cars sold in Australia. The current lax testing procedures have supported the local car manufacturing industry, which is struggling to keep up with imports. There are currently three large car manufacturers with production lines in Australia: Ford, Toyota and Holden. However, all three manufacturers will cease production entirely in 2016 and 2017. Australia does not have regulatory CO2 emission standards to reduce discharges of greenhouse gas emissions and the existing limits are behind the EU and US caps. However, the government has assured that vehicle efficiency will form part of policies to meet the country’s future climate target, a plan thought out for the next 15 years. Euro norms apply to the air pollutants, while separate regulatory emissions only apply to CO2. Australia’s current air pollutant standards are Euro 4, fully implemented back in July 2010. The Euro 5 standards will not apply until November 1, 2016 and the Euro 6 will take effect from mid-2017 and mid- 2018 for all models.