South Australia is charging ahead on reduced transport emissions

Climate Council

SOUTH AUSTRALIA IS making headway towards cheaper and cleaner transport according to new analysis by the Climate Council, earning the Charging Ahead award.

The Climate Council has today launched its ‘Are We There Yet?’ scorecard and report examining how states and territories are tracking on decarbonising their transport sectors.

South Australia has one of the highest numbers of electric vehicle chargers per capita, with 12 chargers per 100,000 residents. This sets the state up well for an accelerated transition to electric vehicles.

The Climate Council recommends South Australia make even bigger gains by electrifying its public transport fleets, and encouraging walking, bike riding and other active transport through better infrastructure and urban planning.

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 SA scores:

  • Transport emissions per person (tCO2e)2: 2.00

  • Leading: High number of electric vehicle chargers per person

  • Lagging: Share of people using active transport

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.

“Slotting in other key pieces of the puzzle, such as electrifying its public transport fleet and improving infrastructure to encourage more walking and cycling, will be the extra boost South Australia needs to keep charging ahead.

“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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