Transport slump during lockdown reduced Australia's carbon pollution by 7% in April, but experts warn of rebound

Packed lanes of traffic in a city.
2 July 2020

Greenhouse gas emissions from Australian cars slumped by more than a third and emissions from aircraft dropped by three-quarters as the country went into partial lockdown in April, cutting national carbon pollution by about 7% for the month, an audit has found.

It confirmed that the recession will lead to a notable fall in national emissions this year. But experts believe the drop is likely to be limited and could be short-term given much of the economy – including big industry and manufacturing – has largely continued to operate through the coronavirus pandemic and road transport has begun to increase.

The Australia Institute, which publishes the monthly national energy emissions audit by independent energy analyst Hugh Saddler, said transport emissions are likely to rebound unless the Morrison government releases and backs policies it has promised to support electric vehicles and improve fuel quality.

Saddler, a consultant and honorary associate professor at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy, found transport emissions fell sharply due to a 36% fall in sales of petrol, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel used in light vehicles and a 77% drop in domestic aviation fuel consumption.

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