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Austroads dives into decarbonisation

Australasian transport authority Austroads has published a paper that explores how changes and advances in road transport can contribute to emission reduction goals. 

According to the paper titled Decarbonisation of Road Transport Network Operations in Australia and New Zealand, leaving transport unchecked will result in ever-increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Such emissions will negate positive efforts towards targets such as the ACT’s aim of net zero emissions by 2045. As a result, Austroads says it is essential that policies and pathways must be explored to help transition towards cleaner and more sustainable transport.

 “The roads sector has an important role to play in supporting the state and national goals in the transition to net zero emissions by 2050 as it accounts for approximately 15 per cent of Australian GHG emissions,” said Richard Delplace, transport network program manager at Austroads. 

The paper, which is available for the public to download, outlines global climate change and identifies the emissions targets required to maintain the temperature rise of less than 1.5°C as established by the Paris Agreement. 

It then details existing emissions policies and objectives throughout Australia and New Zealand and explores how transport contributes – and where, why and how changes should be made to help achieve net zero emissions. These findings will subsequently be used to drive additional targeted research, which could lead to real-world objectives and policies. 

Unsurprisingly, the widespread uptake of electric vehicles is highlighted as one of the best ways to reduce emissions. However, such a transition requires considerable development in terms of electric car accessibility, support and availability. 

“Policymakers and road transport network operators can have a real impact on the road sector’s decarbonisation,” said Delplace.

“Crucially, policy interventions to support electric vehicle sales and the early retirement of inefficient internal combustion engine vehicles from the fleet are required to substantially reduce road transport emissions.”