Western Australia overcoming high hurdles to reduce transport emissions

Climate Council

THE CLIMATE COUNCIL has awarded Western Australia the “High Hurdler” award as part of a new scorecard tracking the progress towards zero emissions transport by Australia’s states and territories.

The award recognises that Western Australia has begun the run-up towards cleaner and cheaper transport, but will need to do far more to find zero emission solutions that work across its vast travel distances.

Western Australia has seen its transport emissions rise over the past decade, jumping up by over 20 percent. The state also has more to do to encourage uptake of active modes of transport – like walking and bike riding – as well as get more EVs on the road.

Encouraging West Australians out of their cars will be essential to help households save at the petrol pump while also cutting harmful emissions.

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 WA scores:

  • Transport emissions per person (tCO2e)2: 2.43

  • Leading: Relatively high public transport use

  • Lagging: Transport emissions per person

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.

“For Western Australia’s long travel distances, infrastructure that adequately connects communities to clean public transport will help give people more options to move around Australia’s largest state.

“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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