The United States has embarked upon its first comprehensive effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions from cars, while also reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil.

Under the new rules, average emissions from all vehicles will have to be cut by 30 per cent and cars and trucks will have to get 15 kilometres per litre by 2016. Currently, they average 10 kilometres per litre.

In comparison, Europe has a target of 5 litres per 100 kilometres by 2012; Australia has a voluntary target of 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres by 2010 and China has a mandatory target of 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres (since 2008).

A spokesman for Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, says the Government is currently reviewing feedback from a consultation with industry and the public on the possibility of introducing mandatory fuel efficiency targets.

Siince October last year, all new cars in Australia are sold with a sticker showing a star rating combining the fuel economy and the CO2 emissions. The most efficient cars (currently, the Toyota Prius, Fiat 500, Fiat Punto, Fiat Ritmo and Citroen C3) are rated at 5 stars while the least efficient cars (the Ferrari 575 and Bently) get a zero rating. In New Zealand, cars have a fuel economy sticker showing a rating of up to six stars.