Rarely do we stop to consider how uniquely dirty our national fuel of choice, unleaded petrol, is. But Australia's obsession with it needs addressing and government inaction is leaving the country sitting in the dust in a race for cleaner fuel.

Australia is ranked lowest of the 35 OECD member countries in quality. We've fallen to 70th in last year's top 100 world ranking of petrol quality, which is based on regulated sulfur content. Plans proposed in 2016 to completely kill off regular unleaded petrol look set to be sidelined after the Department of Environment quietly slipped its Better Fuels for Cleaner Air 2018 discussion paper in at the start of this year.