Australian transport emissions back to pre-pandemic levels, report suggests

A photograph of Sydney City on a sunny day, looking towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
23 December 2020

Greenhouse gas emissions from road transport in Australia have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, exposing the country’s lack of policies to decarbonise the sector, new analysis shows.

But the amount of electricity being generated from renewable sources such as solar and wind continues to break records, with October seeing almost one-third of electricity being generated by clean sources.

Energy data analysed for the Australia Institute’s regular National Energy Emissions Audit shows the pandemic’s main effect on emissions was in the transport sector as people travelled less and stayed at home.

Lockdowns saw emissions from road transport plummet in the early part of 2020 but then start to rise sharply again towards September to almost reaching parity with previous years.

One exception was Victoria, where emissions from transport fell again in line with the state’s second-wave lockdowns as Covid-19 cases peaked in August.

Read the full article on The Guardian website, featuring Hon. Assoc. Prof Hugh Saddler