Motor vehicles affect our environment—they use fuel mainly from non-renewable sources and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, air and noise pollution. Transport accounts for 16% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and light vehicles alone account for 10%. Motor vehicles remain a major cause of air pollution in urban Australia. Even water quality is affected as oily run-off and particles from roads are washed into stormwater drains ending up in our waterways and oceans.

The Australian Government provides a range of information and support to help people reduce fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions and pollution from vehicles, including the Green Vehicle Guide and the Truck Buyers Guide. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation provides financing to drive uptake of low emissions vehicles. Under the Emissions Reduction Fund businesses can earn carbon credits by changing to lower emissions vehicles, improving vehicle efficiency or changing fuel sources.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development manages policy and standards development on vehicle emissions, vehicle noise and fuel consumption labelling. It administers the Australian Design Rules which are national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. The Department of the Environment and Energy is responsible for fuel quality standards.

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