Decarbonisation, Decarbonisation, Freight Rail, Freight Rail, Heavy Haul, light rail, Passenger Rail, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Sustainability

Transport leaders pursue coordinated industry action to decarbonise sector

Senior government and industry leaders representing the nation’s transport sector have gathered in Canberra to agree on coordinated, sector-wide actions to decarbonise the transport network.

Decarbonising transport plays a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting net zero targets. Without intervention, the transport sector is projected to be Australia’s largest source of emissions by 2030.

United by their shared commitment to addressing this challenge, the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand, Roads Australia and the Australasian Railway Association together represent more than 500 public and private sector organisations in Australia’s transport sector.

Sally Stannard, chair of Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand said Australia is one of the most climate-change exposed countries in the world and we must act now to mitigate risks.

“The Covid pandemic reminded us that as a sector, we can make rapid, bold changes to the transport system, so we must be innovative to deliver solutions that reduce our reliance on emission producing technology and infrastructure and provide safe, frequent and efficient mobility services,” she said.

With a national policy framework now in place to decarbonise infrastructure, the leading transport industry associations have convened a National Decarbonising Transport Summit with support from Arup, to agree a joint response to the Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Consultation Roadmap and identify priority actions.

The aim is to work with Australia’s governments to reduce industry barriers to implementation, build capability across the supply chain and ensure national consistency across procurement, data collection and performance reporting.

Caroline Wilkie, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association said the rail industry is committed to cross-sector collaboration on driving policy change and innovation to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport to ensure we achieve net zero targets.

“Now is the time to act on specific measures to decarbonise across the supply chain to support sustainable transport networks that drive the economy and deliver benefits to the wider community,” she said.

The joint initiative comes as Australia’s Infrastructure and Transport Ministers provided in-principle support for the use of a nationally consistent set of carbon values in the assessment of business cases for transport infrastructure projects over $100 million.

Earlier this month, Ministers also approved the Embodied Carbon Measurement for Infrastructure: Technical Guidance developed by Infrastructure NSW, which provides a nationally consistent approach to measuring embodied emissions in infrastructure projects.

Aneetha de Silva, chair of Roads Australia said if we are able to rapidly decarbonise the road transport sector, we will have the biggest chance of achieving our national emission reduction targets as a nation.

“This will take a willingness to engage on the barriers to implementation facing the sector and genuine collaboration between government and industry to solve them.”