The Road Ahead : February March 2008
12 FEB/MAR 08 The RACQ's roadside assistance fleet is going 'green' -- not by changing its familiar yellow liver y, but by becoming carbon neutral. The Club's commitment to offsetting and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of some 700 vehicles in its own and contractor fleets throughout Queensland is a key measure in a national climate change policy. All of Australia's state and territor y motoring organisations have signed on to the policy. The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) policy, On the Road to Greener Motoring, sets the framework for an ongoing campaign by RACQ and other AAA constituents to ensure 'mobility' is sustainable. RACQ chief executive Ian Gillespie said the AAA policy followed the findings of a national sur vey showing 79 percent of motorists were concerned about climate change, with 31 percent being 'ver y concerned' -- figures reflected in Queensland polling for the research. "The research also told us that motorists are looking to the auto clubs for impar tial, exper t advice on how to reduce or offset the environmental impact of their vehicle ownership and use," Mr Gillespie said. "They are also looking to us to help ensure that governments make the right policy decisions. "And they want us to ensure that the automotive and fuel industries deliver the most appropriate products to provide genuine reductions in greenhouse emissions from the private motoring sector, without our members having to bear a dispropor tionate share of the burden." But Mr Gillespie said the success of the AAA's policy initiative would largely hinge on the constituent clubs 'walking the climate change talk'. "That's why the RACQ has commissioned an organisation- wide environmental audit to look at all aspects of our operations and recommend targets and strategies for energy savings," he said. "As an immediate measure, we are buying carbon credits to offset the total greenhouse gas emissions produced through deliver y of our roadside assistance ser vices in Queensland. "These credits will be used to fund projects that reduce or counteract features GREEN LIGHT for The RACQ and its sister auto clubs are addressing climate change. the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, such as renewable clean energy alternatives and reforestation. "In the longer term, the types of vehicles and fuels used will be reviewed to determine how RACQ can reduce fuel consumption and emissions, while still delivering the 'anywhere, any time' ser vice members expect and deser ve." Mr Gillespie said that while reduction or elimination of carbon emissions had to be the ultimate objective of individuals, organisations, industr y and governments, the purchase of carbon credits, as par t of an overall emissions trading system, was a meaningful first step. "That's why RACQ is also investigating various options for helping members offset their motoring- generated greenhouse emissions," he said. "Carbon neutralising the motoring activity of some 1.2 million Queenslanders is a bold objective; but achieving it would go a long way towards neutralising overall greenhouse emissions from the state's road transpor t sector. "Meanwhile, the policy and actions to which RACQ has already committed send a strong message to government that we're ready to play a climate change leadership role and that we expect the motorist's voice to be heeded." You can view the complete policy document, On the Road to Greener Motoring, by visiting racq.com and clicking and following the Greener Motoring links from the home page.
December January 2008
April May 2008