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Australia's most popular cars emit between 8 and 42 per cent more carbon dioxide than their UK counterparts, raising concerns that the country has become a parking lot for dirty vehicles.
The Department of Industry compared each country's best variants for models like Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Tucson, and found that Australian cars were "about 27 per cent worse on average".
Australia is one of few developed countries without emissions standards. Fairfax Media
"Australian consumers will not be offered some of the most efficient variants available to consumers in other markets with fuel efficiency standards," the department warned.
The disparity might be evidence of a "leakage" in global fuel efficiency gains, whereby manufacturers sell high-emitting vehicles in countries with less rigorous standards. Academics have previously observed the phenomenon at a national level in the United States.
Emissions standards mandate that the average of all new cars sold pollute less carbon or noxious particles than a set target. Such regulations for carbon dioxide are already in place in 80 per cent of the global light vehicle market, but not in Australia.
This article first appeared on www.afr.com
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