States and capital cities push forward on electric vehicles

Australian state, territory and capital city climate action leaders have agreed to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles after signing an agreement at a meeting of the Climate Action Roundtable in Adelaide.

The Roundtable members, including South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and the cities of Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin, signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing 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.

The Roundtable committed to continuing to urgently progress action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. It also agreed to pursue opportunities for collaboration on policies to encourage energy efficiency in buildings and suburbs and the infrastructure that supports them.

In July the Roundtable members 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.

South Australian Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter said that transport is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change globally and other major economies are moving away from petrol and diesel-fuelled engines.

“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.”

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