Climate action leaders from around Australia are working to accelerate states and territories’ transition to electric vehicles after signing an agreement at today’s Climate Action Roundtable.
The Climate Action Roundtable met in Adelaide, where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in which the parties agreed to develop a plan to increase the share of electric vehicles in their fleets and to consider how to use their combined market power to promote the public uptake of electric vehicles. They also agreed to coordinate the strategic planning and construction of infrastructure for electric vehicles and seek to align states’ standards and incentives.
South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and the cities of Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin, took part in the roundtable. They committed to continuing to urgently progress action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT, Adelaide and Hobart signed the MoU with the Electric Vehicle Council.
The roundtable also agreed to pursue opportunities for collaboration on policies to encourage energy efficiency in buildings and suburbs and the infrastructure that supports them.
“Transport is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change globally and other major economies are moving away from petrol and diesel-fuelled engines” said South Australia’s Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter. “It’s important that we are at the forefront of a transition to lower-emission vehicles in Australia – both to reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions, and to keep pace with global competitors. States, territories and cities have an important role in increasing the uptake of electric vehicles as they control a number of the policies that can shift public perception and behaviour. Collaborating as we are enables us to identify and pursue the best ways to act and adapt to climate change”.
Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari added that the announcement is an encouraging step forward for Australia, seeing state and local governments committing to work together to drive progress on zero emissions transport. As the global market for electric vehicles grows exponentially, Australia has fallen behind. The country needs governments to take meaningful action to begin the process of transitioning its economy from imported oils, to transport run from domestically generated renewable energy.
Mr Jafari called on the remaining governments in Australia, particularly the Federal Government, to hear this call and join in supporting a transition to a safer, healthier and cheaper road transport future.
The members of the Climate Action Roundtable have a shared commitment to ambitious climate change action consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. All are working to achieve the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. In July they signed the Climate Leadership Declaration to highlight the role states and territories can play in climate change action and the economic benefits it can deliver.
Image: BMW i3 operated by the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia