FACTS: A Framework for an Australian Clean Transport Strategy
iMOVE Australia’s Developing a low/zero emission transport strategy for Australia project was timely, and important, and the comprehensive final report, FACTS: Framework for an Australian Clean Transport Strategy, is now available for download.
Currently, Australia’s transport system is responsible for approximately 19% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. And growing! If Australia is to meet its overall obligations to Net Zero 2050, it is patently obvious that transport must shift, and must shift quickly, to decarbonise. In order to do so absolutely requires sustained government and industry action.
The product of the iMOVE project is an important, broad sweep of a document, FACTS: Framework for an Australian Clean Transport Strategy. It is the result of an assembly of a large group of Australian scientific experts, providing evidence-based guidance to local, state/territory and federal governments on how they can support transport decarbonisation in a timeframe congruent with global climate targets.
FACTS is a line in the sand, a starting point with clear, achievable targets provided. It highlights the issues, and the policy recommendations required to all levels of government in Australia, plus begin and promote public discussion. It is absolutely a launchpad for future work. Future work that we need to start now.
While individual Australian governments have taken some steps forward on decarbonising transport, as it stands right now we are falling behind. That figure of transport contributing 19% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions? Current projects see that figure increase to 25% by 2030.
In Australia could rapidly shift to clean transport if we had a strategy. So we put this plan together, an article in The Conversation published by a group of the FACTS report’s authors it was noted that:
Australia has no clear strategy to decarbonise transport. That’s a problem, because without a plan, our take-up of clean technologies like electric cars, trucks and buses is slow. It’s stopping us from meeting our climate commitments. And it leaves us paying exorbitant prices for imported oil at the fuel pump, as well as in the cost of groceries and services.
Strategy proposed in the report is a line in the sand that should be behind rather than in front of us. It’s not too late, but we must move quickly.
Here’s some numbers that highlight how Australia is doing now, and the need for action:
- Emissions would need to reduce by 50% on 2005 levels by 2030 to stay within a 2°C carbon budget, and 74% on 2005 levels by 2030 for a 1.5°C carbon budget.
- Under the current 2030 target, for Australia to meet its 2°C climate budget it would require 10 times the abatement per annum compared to current levels.
Throughout the report practical suggestions are provided for all levels of government, neatly organised into checklists for each level of government. The point is also well-made that in all cases significant coordination / collaboration between those levels of government in order to implement policies.
In addition to the checklists, recommendations are assigned the labels Avoid, Shift, and Improve (A-S-I). ASI is an approach developed in Germany in the early 1990s. Overall, this approach is:
- Avoid: improve the efficiency of the transport system as a whole
- Reduce: instruments to improve individual trip efficiency
- Improve: vehicle and fuel efficiency, optimisation of public transport, introducing renewable energy sources / alternative fuels / sustainable aviation fuel
The A-S-I system is hierarchical, with Avoid being the first object of attack, then Reduce, then Improve.
The framework has been designed to:
- Consider the composition of the transport system and its fundamental purpose;
- Include the development of a comprehensive policy package;
- Clearly identify which stakeholder(s) are best positioned to implement each policy;
- Include specific reference to not only powertrains, but also fuel sources and energy carriers;
- Aim to electrify as much as possible, and target strategic green hydrogen production
- Prioritise necessary energy investment to ensure that all transport fuel sources and energy carriers are produced using low-carbon renewable energy;
- Adopt light-duty transport and heavy-duty transport definitions for low and zero emission vehicles;
- Consider the timing of policy recommendations; and
- Set targets for Australia
In terms of the many technologies and modes, “… recommendations outlined in FACTS consider how policies focussed on low and zero emission technologies can support quick wins for transport decarbonisation in the short-term, while laying the groundwork for future innovations in those harder-to decarbonise segments.
Diffusion technology – quick wins for transport decarbonisation: Cars, light commercial vehicles, trams, urban buses, urban trucks, electrified trains
Medium-term emerging technology: Long-haul buses, long-haul trucks, ferries, non-electrified trains, domestic aviation
Long-term emergence technology: International shipping, aviation
Actions and recommendations
Amongst the many direct recommendations at a more micro level are:
- set an active and public transport share target
- support Mobility as a Service
- support car sharing
- support electric micromobility
- invest in active travel networks
- parking reform
- introduce low emissions zones
- road pricing reform
- improve public transport networks
- improve investment decision making
- road pricing reform
- set a zero emission light duty vehicle target
- introduce a zero emission vehicle sales mandate
- provide zero emission fleet support
- Introduce a Zero Emission Vehicles company tax benefit
- fund urban charging for light vehicles and urban trucks
- support charging infrastructure planning
- enhance grid utilisation and renewable energy uptake
- set a zero emission heavy truck target
- introduce zero emission heavy vehicle company tax benefits
- support new technology pilot projects and international transport R&D
- introduce carbon pricing
- support traffic management
- include international aviation and shipping in targets
- fund strategic green hydrogen clusters
“Australia is in the fortunate position of having many options available to us on our journey to net zero transport. But these opportunities will not last forever.
FACTS: A framework for an Australian Clean Transport Strategy is a call to action for Australian governments and industry to consider and incorporate our policy recommendations, in support of achieving the decarbonised transport targets outlined in this strategy.
It’s also a call to all Australians to contact your local, state/territory and federal representatives, and push them to action on Net Zero 2050.”
Download the final report
Click the button below to download your copy of the final report, FACTS: A framework for an Australian clean transport strategy.
Want to work with us on this?
If you’d like to discuss the report, or discuss project opportunities, iMOVE would love to talk to you. Start the discussion by dropping us an email.