Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Freight Rail, Sustainability

NSW freight transport driving towards net zero


The New South Wales Government has released a new net zero emissions policy for heavy road and rail freight.

The Towards Net Zero Emissions Freight Policy focuses on reducing the carbon footprint created by the freight vehicles, which account for 25 per cent of total transport greenhouse gases in NSW.

With demand projected to rise by 34 per cent by 2061, the new policy will see the NSW Government work together with industry to support the transition to low and zero emission technologies, and to ensure the transport network is ready to adapt as technology and solutions evolve.

The first step involves a two-year trial to give extra mass zero emission heavy vehicles, which weigh more due to their batteries, access to the state road network. This means the industry can invest in the technology without sacrificing the payloads that underpin the freight business.

An online comparison tool has also been developed to support the transition, providing a free resource for the freight industry to source accurate information on the cost and environmental benefits of low and zero emission vehicles.

The policy is a significant step towards reducing emissions in the transport sector, with the NSW Government working to remove barriers to accelerate uptake, while balancing the freight sector’s challenging operating environment.

Premier Chris Minns said reducing freight emissions required a genuine partnership between government and industry.

“We’re always going to need a freight sector to get the essentials from A to B, so we need to make sure our freight industry is sustainable over the long term,” he said.

Transport minister Jo Haylen said many freight operators were natural innovators and were already investing in low emission technologies.

“This policy means that the government is able to support industry to continue to invest in new and emerging technologies and reflects our joint commitment to reduce freight emissions,” he said.

“This isn’t just about cutting emissions and protecting our environment, it’s also about strengthening our economy through driving innovation, creating jobs and increasing competitiveness.”