A Framework for an
Australian Clean Transport strategy
What is FACTS?
FACTS: a Framework for an Australian Clean Transport Strategy has been developed by 18 clean transport and energy experts to enable and boost cooperative action across federal, state/territory, and local governments, together with industry, to support the decarbonisation of Australia’s transport sector, and in turn, support the uptake of low and zero emission transport technologies and strategies.
While individual governments have taken some steps forward on decarbonising transport, we have not yet seen the level of policy ambition that is required for Australia to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
By joining our international trading partners in their transport decarbonisation efforts, and altering course towards a rapid emissions reduction trajectory, Australia will be able to capture the major job creation and economic development opportunities that the transition to a decarbonised transport sector can deliver.
What's in the Framework?
A holistic approach to decarbonisation
The pervasive nature of fossil fuel use and carbon emissions throughout society requires a holistic view on how to reduce emissions across the entire transport system, while supporting broader economy decarbonisation within the narrow time frames available. Our recommendations account for the potential interactions of transport decarbonisation on other sectors of the economy, particularly the energy sector.
Setting both near-term and long-term transport targets
We have set clear near-term and long-term targets as a starting point for providing accountability for transport decarbonisation policies to be assessed and tracked against. Targets are also a useful signal to consumers, industry, and other international markets that we have set a pathway to net zero and can demonstrate our position moving forward.
Consideration of a broad range of decarbonisation strategies and technology options
We consider a wide range of strategies and technology options for decarbonising Australia’s transport system. These options are classified under the AVOID-SHIFT-IMPROVE framework:
AVOID – leading to fewer transport / shorter trips via alternatives to physical travel, and reduction of trip lengths.
SHIFT – encouraging the transport of people and goods to be carried out through more efficient modes.
IMPROVE – transitioning to low, and ideally zero emission powertrain options across land, sea and air transport.
Differing responsibility across levels of government and industry
We aim to outline an efficient delegation of transport decarbonisation responsibilities across all three levels
of Australian governments and industry. We need to move away from the current patch work approach, towards a clear roadmap for Australia. A coordinated vision for a decarbonised transport system can help to accelerate the transition to net zero transport, while bolstering community confidence.
Our recommended policies aim to advance Australia’s productivity, future job market, and economic development, while providing a better future for Australians through improved social, health and economic outcomes.
Why can australia gain from decarbonising transport?
Lower transport costs
Greater flexibility in work arrangements, and the electrification of public transport, freight, and private vehicles (e.g. cars) will lower costs for Australian households and businesses.
Electric vehicles can reduce fuel and maintenances costs by as much as 90%. With the right policy settings, this technology could also be cheaper than fossil fuel vehicles in the next few years.
Cleaner air and improved health outcomes
Our current transport system is flooding our communities with noxious, carcinogenic fumes. It estimated there are more premature deaths in Australia from vehicle pollution, than from vehicle accidents.
With many childcare centres, schools, aged care homes and hospitals located on major roads, we must rapidly decarbonise our transport system to improve health outcomes for all Australians.
Increased support for active transport can also reduce car dependency and improve health through increased activity.
Greater zero emission vehicle choice
Many Australian households and businesses would make the switch to zero emission transport today, if the options were available to them.
Policy leadership is required in Australia to introduce the regulation, incentives and infrastructure to increase the supply of zero emission micro-mobility, cars, trucks and buses to give Australians more choices.
Use of Australian-made energy, supporting local jobs
Australia depends on imported fuel for more than 90% of its consumption. This leaves the country vulnerable to international disruptions, and volatile pricing.
A shift to zero emission transport, like electric cars, buses and trucks, also means a shift to using Australian-made energy, supporting local energy jobs.
It also means freeing up the more than $30 billion spent on foreign fuel each year to be spent on local energy, other goods and paying down debt.
Transition to new, green industries
Australia is in the hot seat for supporting the global decarbonisation of transport over the coming decades.
Home to the major critical resources required to support the beginning of this transition, with the potential to power mining and manufacturing using cheap, renewable energy, and also the skilled workforce to develop advanced manufacturing industries, as well closing the loop through the repurposing and recycling of zero emission vehicles, and components, like batteries.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity we must not miss out on to secure our future prosperity as we transition away from fossil fuels.
More realistic chance of achieving net zero by 2050
Transport emissions in Australia continue to increase. On current projections, transport could make up almost a quarter of Australia's total emissions by 2030.
To maximise our chance of achieving net zero by 2050 (at the latest), proactive policy action needs to be taken by federal, state/territory and local governments, and supported by industy, to rapidly decarbonise Australia, unlock the significant benefits for our country, while transitioning to a net zero transport system.