Greenpeace Australia Pacific has welcomed the Federal Government’s New Vehicle Emissions Standards (NVES) legislation as a win for climate action while warning that any emissions reduction traded away now must be made up for later.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific has today welcomed the final NVES proposal as a meaningful effort to reduce transport pollution –  the fastest-growing source of emissions in Australia. 

“This important climate decision will make all the difference when it comes to urgently bringing more affordable electric vehicles into Australia and is crucial if Australia is to meet its climate targets,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Joe Rafalowicz said today.

“Strong vehicle efficiency standards will bring about real cuts to pollution and cleaner, quieter cities for us all to enjoy. This will mean less toxic, harmful pollution from the petrol and diesel burnt in our cars: a great outcome for Australian communities and our planet.”

“The decision to weaken the standards when it comes to Light Commercial Vehicles will mean around 20% more carbon pollution will be allowed by 2030 compared to the original proposal  – so we expect the Government will be looking at other options for reducing pollution from transport in order to meet their climate targets.”

“Re-classifying luxury SUVs, like the Lexus LX, as a ‘light commercial vehicle’ doesn’t pass the pub test, and is clearly a concession to automakers who earn their biggest profits from massive cars, but we are pleased to see the overall pollution reduction goals of the scheme are intact, which the Government should be commended for.

“The NVES is an important step towards achieving Australia’s climate targets, laying the groundwork for more action on transport emissions. By working closely with the states to make major and necessary investments in active transport, the Government can continue to accelerate its climate ambitions,” Mr Rafalowicz added.

Today’s NVES announcement: The good, the bad, the ugly

The Good:

  • Australia will catch up to other major markets by 2030
  • Legislation rules out ‘supercredits’ and loopholes 

The Bad

  • By weakening the targets for Light Commercial Vehicles, the Bill will only achieve 80% of the pollution reduction that was in the model proposed in February 2024
  • Using the ‘ladder frame chassis’ and ‘braked towing capacity’ as the criteria for classification as a ‘light commercial vehicle’ is a sensible approach, however it will unfortunately still result in an easier ride for luxury SUVs that are more consumer choice than business necessity.

The Ugly:

  • The Government has held its IT systems responsible for not being able to commence the scheme in January 2025. Surely, the Government can find a way to track vehicle sales and apply the penalties and credits after the system is fully set up.
  • Low-income earners stand to benefit the most from electric vehicles. The Government should be looking at measures to reduce upfront costs and increase charging accessibility for all Australians.
  • The petrol and diesel car lobby group, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, are still fighting to keep Australian cars as toxic and polluting as possible, while asking motorists to keep paying high prices for imported petrol. 


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Lisa Wills on 0456 206 021 and/or [email protected]