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Georgie Moore

Scrap new petrol, diesel car sales: report

Australia should phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035: Grattan Institute. (AAP)

Australia has been urged to seize on international ambition and phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

The Grattan Institute says scrapping stamp duty for electric vehicles would cut their cost by up to 6.5 per cent and speed up the switch from higher-polluting cars.

In the absence of an economy-wide price on carbon, the institute argues the changes would help Australia achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Introducing an emissions standard for new passenger and light vehicles, and tightening that to zero by 2035, would also encourage manufacturers to sell low and zero-emissions vehicles into Australia.

"Australia has suffered more than a decade of policy uncertainty on climate change," the report said.

"Converging international and domestic political pressures have created a window of opportunity for progress on climate change policy."

The European Union has proposed an effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

Closer to home, Victoria this month began charging electric vehicle drivers 2.5 cents for every kilometres travelled in the state.

The Victoria government justified the controversial tax by saying it would ensure everyone paid to use the road.

Australia's annual emissions from transport grew from 82 million tonnes in 2005 to 101 million tonnes in 2019, driven by population growth, along with increased freight and flights.

COVID-19 drove emissions down by seven million tonnes last year, but they are expected to rebound and plateau at 100 million tonnes by the end of the decade.

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