Transport emissions: what role does transport play in Australia’s greenhouse gases?


Transport is Australia's second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, after electricity. This is primarily due to the combustion of fossil fuels in vehicles. The sector's emissions bounced around during the pandemic and are now slightly below pre-Covid levels.

Road Transport Dominance

Road transport, including cars, trucks, and buses, is the largest contributor within the transport sector, with private car use and heavy freight being particularly emissions-intensive.

Growing Emissions

Emissions from the transport sector have been growing, driven by increasing vehicle numbers, a preference for larger vehicles, and a significant reliance on road freight for goods transportation.

Urban vs. Rural Differences

Urban areas see high emissions from congested traffic and commuter travel, while rural and remote areas contribute through the use of vehicles over long distances, often with limited public transport options.

Aviation and Maritime Impact

Aviation and maritime transport also contribute to Australia's transport emissions, with domestic flights and shipping adding to the overall greenhouse gas output.

Emission Reduction Efforts

Efforts to reduce transport emissions include promoting electric vehicles (EVs), improving fuel efficiency standards, expanding public transport networks, and encouraging active transport options like cycling and walking.

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