Drivers will be able to benefit the environment while they drive under an Australian-first voluntary registration renewal scheme that allows them to offset their vehicle’s greenhouse emissions.
Launching the Victorian Government’s Taking Action for Victoria’s Future, the Victorian Climate Change White Paper – The Action Plan, Mr Brumby said drivers could choose to pay a small premium on their registration that will go towards activities such as planting trees and helping to change farming practices.
The offset program is in addition to other vehicle initiatives in the action plan which include doubling to $100 the rebate on registrations for hybrid vehicles, making electric vehicles eligible for the discount and providing support for local electric and low emissions vehicle manufacturers.
“Our Government is rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives to cut emissions and creating a climate of opportunity,” Mr Brumby said.
“Our Government’s disciplined economic management means Victoria is in a position to lead the country in tackling climate change and locking in our sustainability for the future.
“Vehicle emissions account for about 16 per cent of Victoria’s annual greenhouse gas emissions so this Australia-first initiative is a very real way people can help protect the environment for future generations as we continue to develop lower emissions vehicles.
“We hope as many as 20 per cent of drivers will choose to offset their emissions. But even if only 10 per cent of drivers opt to offset all of their emissions, Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by over one million tonnes each year.
“The voluntary offset scheme will be linked directly to the new Victorian Carbon Exchange which will enable the public and businesses to offset emissions through such things as tree planting, changing to more environmentally friendly farming practices and soil carbon sequestration.
“Through the Victorian Carbon Exchange, people can be confident that their voluntary offset will be used in a way that is fully audited, accountable and above all ecologically and socially viable.”
“Under the voluntary vehicle offset plan, all of the offsets will be invested in Victoria, providing a massive boost to the local offset industry.
“Of the 91 recognized offset providers in Australia, approximately 24 are based in Victoria, employing up to 500 people.”
Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the cost of offsetting 100 per cent of vehicle emissions would be about $80, based on the current carbon offset price of around $20 per tonne.
“People can choose to offset part or all of their vehicle emissions, with the scheme providing the opportunity to offset smaller amounts to suit individual budgets. Offsetting 25 per cent of emissions would cost as little as $20,” Mr Jennings said.
“We are confident many will take advantage of this voluntary scheme to help the environment, with about 15 per cent of households participating in the GreenPower scheme.”
Mr Jennings said the Government had also announced a doubling to $100 the rebate for registering hybrid vehicles.
“Our $50 rebate, which has been available for the past two years has resulted in more than 6500 registered hybrid cars,” Mr Jennings said.
“Doubling the rebate for registering hybrid vehicles provides additional incentives for people looking to buy a new car, and supports our growing green manufacturing industry.”