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Transport is the fastest growing and third largest source of emissions in Australia, behind electricity and stationary energy sectors. Australia’s road vehicle fleet is one of the most energy- and emissions-intensive in the world; the nation’s per capita aviation emissions are the world’s highest. An opportunity exists for Australia to turn these trends around and become a global leader in zero-emissions transport.

The strategies to transform Australia’s transport networks are known, with many ready to be implemented this decade. Widespread, rapid adoption of well-established solutions, along with mature and demonstrated technologies, can achieve much of what is needed this decade. Substantial investment in research, development and commercialisation can close the gap to zero emissions across the transport sector by 2050.

This report is the first comprehensive guide to how Australia can transition to zero-emissions transport. It explains where the transport sector is at today, and where the whole transport system needs to get to in order to support emissions reductions and keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. It distills an analysis of over 300 reports, research papers, news articles and policy documents, collated by ClimateWorks Australia over nine months, into twelve recommendations for the transport sector to move towards zero emissions. These recommendations will be familiar to the transport sector, with the review affirming that known and established opportunities can shift Australia towards zero-emissions transport.


  • Develop a shared vision of a desired zero-emissions transport system
  • Align government and business transport strategies to zero emissions before 2050
  • Prioritise net zero emissions in strategic and statutory planning processes
  • Assess and manage emissions impacts of emerging and disruptive transport technologies
  • Shift private vehicle trips to public, active and shared transport options, and shift freight from road to rail
  • Coordination both between and within freight stakeholders
  • Review financial incentives and pricing mechanisms
  • Continue development and implementation of vehicle emissions standards
  • Build on and develop zero-emissions fleet strategies
  • Support research, commercialisation and development of standards
  • Plan for and manage integration of electric vehicles with Australia’s electricity networks
  • Develop national supply chain guidelines



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