Air quality, particularly in urban areas, is adversely affected by noxious emissions from motor vehicles. The amount and type of these emissions are affected by vehicle technology and the quality of hydrocarbon fuels. In due course, and following the advice of the expert Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, zero emission electric or renewable fuel vehicles ought to prevail. That would eliminate noxious and greenhouse gas emissions and improve people’s health and the environment.
Until that time, the Australian Government must remake the fuel quality standards established under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 by 1 October 2019. Otherwise the fuel quality standards will sunset, with potentially dire consequences for vehicles and motorists. Fuel quality standards achieve beneficial health outcomes for Australians by ensuring engine operability, maximising vehicle performance and reducing noxious and greenhouse gas emissions.
If these improved health outcomes, vehicle performance and reduced noxious and carbon dioxide emissions are a priority, then the preferred implementation option is clear: fuel quality standards must be raised to international best practice.
The Better Fuel for Cleaner Air submission to the Australian Government on Fuel Quality Standards discusses the science, technology, and regulatory issues that must be considered if fuel quality and hence air quality is to be improved.