Northern Territory tops nation on active transport but must get into reverse gear on rising emissions

Climate Council

NEW ANALYSIS BY the Climate Council

has found that the Northern Territory has the highest rate of people walking or cycling to get to work, with almost 13 percent of Territorians using these methods.

However, this has not been enough to prevent a major spike in transport emissions over the past decade, with the Top End’s transport emissions jumping up by over 37 percent, the biggest increase in the nation.

The Northern Territory will need to do far more to find zero emission solutions that work across its vast travel distances, including electrifying both public transport and private vehicle fleets.

Rankings – Most to Least Progress1

1. ACT (Clean All-Rounder award)

2. NSW (Public Transport Powerhouse award)

3. Equal third place TAS (Emissions Slasher award) and VIC (People Powered award)

5. SA (Charging Ahead award)

6. QLD (Fleet Footed award)

7. WA (High Hurdler award)

8. NT (Active Mover award)

Transport emissions per person, as tCO2e (Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent):

1. ACT – 1.65

2, TAS – 1.69

3. NSW – 1.85

4. VIC – 1.89

5. SA – 2.00

6. NT – 2.30

7. QLD – 2.31

8. WA – 2.43

How NT scores:

  • Transport emissions per person (tCO2e)2: 2.30

  • Leading: Share of people using active transport options

  • Lagging: Transport emissions growth

Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said: “Cleaning up transport is a huge priority as we work towards getting emissions plummeting this decade. What’s at stake here isn’t just a race between Australia’s states and territories, it’s a race against the devastating effects of fossil fuel emissions on our climate.

“It’s great to see the Northern Territory on the move, but without a dedicated transport decarbonisation strategy Territorians will miss out on enjoying cheaper and cleaner transport.

“Australians want clean transport options that are accessible, reliable and better for our hip pockets and climate.

“This includes well-connected networks of footpaths and bike lanes, zero emissions public transport and affordable electric vehicles. State and Territory governments are putting their wheels in motion but our analysis shows they really need to hit the accelerator.”

The Climate Council’s People and Transport National Poll 2022 backs this up, finding

  • The majority (80%) of Australians believe governments should invest more in public transport

  • Almost three quarters (70%) are keen to see Australia’s entire bus fleet electrified and run on renewables as soon as possible.

  • More than two-thirds (over 67%) of Australians think governments should invest more in footpaths and bike lanes across the country.

Climate Councillor, energy expert and former President of BP Australasia, Greg Bourne said: “Transport is one of Australia’s fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and the sector is our third biggest source of climate pollution.

“There has been a lot of focus on electric vehicles recently, but we won’t achieve our climate targets or address broader challenges within the transport sector purely by replacing dirty petrol cars with electric ones.

“Investment in clean public transport and making our towns and cities pedestrian and bicycle-friendly must also be part of the solution. This will deliver huge benefits for our health, hip pockets and the liveability of our communities – as well as being better for the climate.

“States and territories must step up on clean transport policies to help Australians free themselves from expensive, polluting fossil fuels.”

Read Are we there yet? Clean Transport Scorecard

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