Transport Emissions: Driving Down Car Pollution in Cities

Cars are a major source of greenhouse gas pollution in Australian cities, our latest report explains.

Transport is Australia’s third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with emissions from transport increasing nearly 60% since 1990, more than any other sector.

Cars are responsible for roughly half of all transport emissions. Collectively, Australian cars emit roughly the same per year as Queensland’s entire coal and gas fired electricity supply.

In ratifying the Paris Agreement, Australia committed to rapidly reduce our carbon emissions, by reducing emissions by 26- 28 percent on 2005 levels by 2030 and transitioning to zero emissions before 2050. A number of state governments have also committed to zero net emissions targets by 2050. Despite these pledges to tackle climate change, Australia’s emissions continue to rise, particularly from the transport sector.


Key Findings:

  • Transport is Australia’s third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with the highest rate of growth.
  • Cars are responsible for roughly half of Australia’s transport emissions. Australian cars emit about the same as Queensland’s entire electricity supply.
  • An international scorecard ranked Australia second-worst for transport energy efficiency.
  • Key climate solutions for transport involve:
    • providing viable alternatives to driving, such as expanding access to reliable, comfortable public transport.
    • electrifying and powering cars, buses, trains and trams with 100% renewable energy.
    • adopting stringent, mandatory greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and other vehicles.



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