The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is urging its nearly half a million supporters to contact state car clubs and demand they support strong climate pollution standards for cars that would cut emissions and improve public health.

The ACF is concerned that the Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) is trying to keep our country in the slow lane on curbing climate pollution from cars. The AAA represents household names like the RACV, NRMA, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg is currently considering whether to introduce vehicle pollution standards as part of the Turnbull Government’s national climate strategy due for release by the end of the year. The ACF is urging the government to accept a Ministerial Forum recommendation to introduce strong climate standards, which would bring Australian cars into line with those sold in the United States and Canada. Federal Labor already supports the move.

ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, has written to the heads of each of these clubs asking whether the AAA’s position on climate pollution standards represent their own. Only two – the RACQ and RAA – have responded, confirming that it does.

“I reckon Australians will be shocked that the organisations they trust to get them out of a jam when their car breaks down now appear to be trying to undermine the implementation of the toughest climate pollution standards,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“Strong limits on car pollution is good for our climate and public health in our communities.

“Of course we need rigorous testing of cars to make sure they are not polluting more than they should and the federal government is looking to introduce more accurate testing standards already being deployed in Europe. But this isn’t an excuse to stall the introduction of strong pollution and carbon emissions standards, in fact it’s a reason to go ahead without delay.

“Independent experts like ClimateWorks Australia have shown discrepancies between laboratory and on-road testing are irrelevant when considering the absolute climate pollution cuts new standards could deliver.

“Australia is one of the few wealthy countries not to have implemented climate pollution limits for cars. Does the RACV, the NRMA, the RACQ and the other car clubs want an unsafe planet and a sicker community?

“We are urging our nearly 500,000 supporters to contact the car clubs to ask this question. Many of our supporters will be their customers, so the clubs should listen to what they have to say.

“Climate pollution from transport is soaring in Australia and must be driven down if we are to meet our Paris commitments. We commend Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg for pursuing new CO2 standards. We urge him not to be put off by misinformation and to adopt the strongest climate pollution standards in line with our counterparts in the United States and Canada.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910 or Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.