Road transport and climate change: stepping off the greenhouse gas

Transport is Australia’s third largest and second fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The road transport sector makes up 88% of total transport emissions and the projected emissions increase from 1990 to 2020 is 64%. Achieving prospective emission reduction targets will pose major challenges for the road transport sector. This paper investigates two targets for reducing Australian road transport greenhouse gasemissions, and what they might mean for the sector: emissions in 2020 being 20% below 2000 levels; and emissions in 2050 being 80% below 2000 levels. Six ways in which emissions might be reduced to achieve these targets are considered. The analysis suggests that major behavioural and technological changes will be required to deliver significant emission reductions, with very substantial reductions in vehicle emission intensity being absolutely vital to making major inroads in road transport GHG emissions.

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