Transport emissions spike shows need for e-transport

Hazy exhaust fumes from traffic (transport emissions)
Image: Shutterstock

New Australian emissions data shows that climate pollution increased in 2021, with a faster transition to renewables and the electrification of transport key to course correcting, Greenpeace Australia Pacific said.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 0.8 per cent—4.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide—in 2021, largely attributed to transport and reliance on fossil fuels. Transport emissions grew by four per cent, up ten per cent from 2005 levels, while fugitive emissions from venting and flaring at gas extraction sites rose 1.8 per cent [1].

Related article: Volvo showcases new zero-emissions truck concept

Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of clean transitions Jess Panegyres said Australia’s rising emissions laid bare that gas has no place in the country’s energy transition.

“Following the stark reality detailed in the IPCC’s series of climate change reports, we simply cannot afford any new gas developments,” Panegyres said.

“The idea that gas, one of the major drivers of dangerous climate change, is the answer to rising emissions defies all logic. The pathway to clean energy is to invest in clean energy, it is as simple as that.   

“With the eyes of the world on the new government, we must demonstrate our embarrassing past under the Morrison Government is behind us. An accelerated energy transition that embraces renewables is the most effective way for the Albanese Government to protect Australians, our Pacific neighbours and the environment from worsening climate impacts.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner Lindsay Soutar said the jump in Australia’s emissions driven by transport demonstrated the need for stronger policies to accelerate Australia’s clean transport transition. 

“Ten years of negligence from the past government has seen transport emissions spiralling out of control. Tackling transport emissions needs to be a priority for this government. 

Related article: Aviation H2 acquires hydrogen-powered test engines

“They’ve already put in place some important new measures to support uptake of electric vehicles. The next step will be addressing the massive electric vehicle supply issues that are plaguing Australia, which has seen clean car waiting lists stretch out to over a year. 

“Policy measures such as a strong Fuel Efficiency Standard will do much to get Australia onto the clean transport track.”

[1] https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/national-greenhouse-gas-inventory-quarterly-update-december-2021