More actions are needed if Australia’s transportation sector is to cut emissions in line with global goals.

The Net Zero Momentum Tracker Transport Sector report evaluates the climate commitments of 32 Australian transport operators and logistics companies to assess their alignment with the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, a key element of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The analysis considered activities and commitments that address transport emissions from direct combustion of fuel and indirect emissions from electricity consumed for vehicle propulsion for both owned vehicles and outsourced transportation services.

It also evaluated emissions associated with transport facilities and supporting operations, such as direct and indirect emissions from corporate buildings, business activities, staff vehicles, depots, hangers, maintenance facilities and maintenance activities.

The transport sector report found none of the 32 transportation companies assessed had disclosed climate commitments that fully aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement. Their commitments and activities fall into three categories:

  • 3% or one company, Qantas, had a target to reduce a significant proportion of its emissions, in line with the global net zero emissions by 2050 goal
  • 69% or 22 of the companies assessed are taking steps to reduce some of their emissions, but these efforts are not in line with the global net zero emissions by 2050 goal
  • 28% or nine companies have no disclosed emissions reduction activities.

The results suggest that much can be done to align Australia’s transport sector with net zero emissions by 2050. Zero-emissions transport solutions are available, and globally many are already being rolled out and scaled up. Policy, infrastructure and market measures can drive more widespread adoption of zero emissions transport options in Australia.

This report highlights the clear opportunity for transportation companies to assess their business strategies, in line with the net zero emissions commitments of Australia’s state and territory governments, as well as global peers. The current disruption in the transport sector associated with the pandemic measures could present the unexpected chance to do just that.