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

Victorian freight maps target net zero

freight net zero roadmap

The Victorian Government plans to deliver zero-emissions freight transport maps as it sets one of the most ambitious global reduction targets to reach net zero across the Victorian economy by 2045.

The goal was finetuned after the state’s Department of Transport and Planning hosted a Freight Decarbonisation Summit, connecting Government, industry and operators to identify obstacles and fast-track solutions.

As a result of the summit, the Government and industry will co-design policies, regulations, infrastructure and technology to accelerate next generation sustainable mobility and meet climate targets.

Net zero access maps will reduce the need for structural assessments on a permit-by-permit basis for operators of approved vehicles – saving time, cutting red tape and cost burdens on the heavy vehicle industry.

The first map centres on a new Volvo electric semi-trailer, allowing the manufacturer to start offering this combination for use on the approved network by local operators to super-charge a shift towards more sustainable heavy vehicles.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commenced developing a Future Heavy Vehicle Roadmap to provide a blueprint so the Australian heavy vehicle industry can further plan.

Ports and freight minister Melissa Horne said Victoria had set targets to decarbonise at the fastest rate in the country and had already cut its overall emissions by more than any other state since 2014.

“We have set interim emissions reduction targets of 50 per cent against 2005 levels by 2030 and a 75-80 per cent reduction by 2035,” she said.

“These targets will support Victoria to seize the enormous economic opportunity climate action presents – generating $63 billion of economic benefits and generating thousands of jobs.

“We are also moving more freight from road to rail, reducing emissions from heavy vehicles as we continue with major investments in a more resilient and flexible rail-freight network.

“Achieving substantial reductions in transport sector emissions means we need to rapidly reduce our petroleum-fueled vehicle fleet and shift freight to rail while we transition to zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) powered by clean energy.’’