Following InfluenceMap reports that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has reportedly led a coordinated campaign to push back against Australian climate policy, Greenpeace Australia Pacific has today urged the Federal Government to prioritise Australian consumers ahead of profiteering car lobbyists.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today the car industry has been driving a co-ordinated lobbying campaign among policymakers to limit emissions cuts from vehicles and to downplay the role of electric vehicles.

This follows a Herald investigation of the FCAI in August 2022 that found evidence that the automotive body had launched a wide-ranging secret campaign designed to hamper Australia’s transition to electric vehicles.

“Today’s report is a troubling indictment of the fossil fuel-powered car lobby’s continued efforts to sway policy-makers to weaken climate legislation, preventing Australians from accessing the full range of affordable electric vehicles,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Joe Rafalowicz said today. 

“With the Federal Government now consulting on what a feasible and effective set of fuel efficiency standards might look like, Greenpeace Australia Pacific is of the view that the car lobby – particularly Toyota, who occupy a powerful market share position at the FCAI – are determined to slow Australia’s progress on climate action so that they can protect their petrol-powered profits.

“Despite this, there is accelerating demand for electric vehicles from Australians, who want to power their car with Australian sunshine not polluting, imported petrol, and real momentum within Government and the Parliament for greater electric vehicle uptake. 

“Implementing strong, mandated fuel efficiency standards this year will mark the first step to opening up the Australian market to more EVs and ensuring that demand for them can be met. Strong standards means catching up to the rest of the world – with no loopholes, no dodgy accounting tricks, and equity built-in so that more Australians can access electric vehicles sooner.

“Greenpeace Australia Pacific urges policymakers not to be taken in by the car lobbyist’s blatant anti-climate positioning. At a time of climate crisis, we need strong standards in place to further Australia’s all-important climate efforts,” Mr Rafalowicz added.