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Shift Away from ‘Car-Centric’ Transport System needed | Climate of the Nation 2022

The shift away from ‘car-centric’ system and car dependency is needed to address transport emissions. That means funding public transport, walking and cycling to adequate levels.

The UN recommends that 20 per cent of the transport budget should be allocated to walking and cycling. Here in Australia it is usually less than 1 per cent.

There is a huge potential here for mobility behaviour change, if the infrastructure is put in place. Some 78 percent of people are in the interested but concerned cohort (Pearson 2022). Recent statistics from RACV show that bikes are now outselling cars.

The Climate of the Nation survey has been done each year since 2007. This year it included a section on transport and transport emissions.

Australians believe 20% of government transport spending should go to active transport, the same as the minimum recommended by the United Nations.

Three-fifths (62%) support having a national subsidy scheme for bikes, e-bikes or cargo bikes, and three-quarters (75%) support electrifying state bus fleets by 2030.

3 Nov 2022 – Australia Institute :Australians are supportive of policies to encourage and improve active and public transport. Our annual Climate of the Nation report shows that on average, Australians believe 20% of government transport spending should go to active transport, the same as the minimum recommended by the United Nations. Three-fifths (62%) support having a national subsidy scheme for bikes, e-bikes or cargo bikes, and three-quarters (75%) support electrifying state bus fleets by 2030.

The Climate of the Nation survey has been done each year since 2007. This year it included a section on transport and transport emissions.

As flood waters rise at record levels, so too does national concern – 75% of Aussies are now worried about climate change impacts.

  • Over 3 in 5 (62%) support a levy on fossil fuel exports to pay for some of the increasing costs of these climate disasters. 
  • A huge majority of Australians (79%) support a phase-out of coal-fired power stations. 
  • 57% support stopping the approval of any new gas, coal or oil projects.
  • While fossil fuel companies pocket record profits from our natural resources, frustrated Aussies are missing out. 61% support a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry.
  • More than 9 in 10 (92%) think the govt should spend the $11.6b it spends subsidising fossil fuels on other priorities like healthcare, cost of living, and climate action.Here is what the report concluded.
  • Australians also know that there are big opportunities in the upcoming National EV strategy. There is huge support for fuel efficiency standards, subsidies for EVs and e-bikes, and the phase-out of fossil-fuelled vehicles.
  • Australia has one of the world’s least efficient and most polluting car fleets, and it’s costing us every time we fill up at the petrol pump. We could fix this with a simple policy: fuel efficiency standards.
  • Australians want better active and public transport, like an e-bus fleet by 2030, e-bike subsidies, and better infrastructure for walking. 

Reducing transport emissions

Australians support a range of policies to reduce emissions from the transport sector. Over two-thirds (69%) support the introduction of a transport decarbonisation strategy, with just 12% disagreeing. Three-quarters (75%) agree that the government should have industry-specific (i.e. transportation, agriculture, etc.) targets for reducing emissions, and more than two-thirds (68%) support the introduction of national fuel efficiency standards in line with those in Europe.

Electric vehicle policies are also popular, including government subsidies, charging infrastructure and registration and stamp duty discounts. Two-thirds (64%) of Australians support requiring all new car sales in Australia to be zero emissions vehicles by 2035.

Support for domestic electric vehicle manufacturing

A majority (70%) of Australians support having a Manufacturing Industry Commission to explore prospects for producing electric vehicles domestically. The global transition to electric vehicles and electric vehicle manufacturing is a unique opportunity for Australia to rebuild its vehicle manufacturing industry. Three-quarters (76%) of Australians want to see government support to increase domestic manufacturing of zero-emission electric vehicles. Four-fifths (79%) support having a long-term strategy to provide vocational training.

Support for active and public transport policies

Australians are supportive of policies to encourage and improve active and public transport. On average, Australians believe 20% of government transport spending should go to active transport, the same as the minimum recommended by the United Nations.

Three-fifths (62%) support having a national subsidy scheme for bikes, e-bikes or cargo bikes, and three-quarters (75%) support electrifying state bus fleets by 2030.

High Speed Rail

Australia should be a world leader on Climate

Most Australians support more ambitious climate policy and want Australia to play a leading role in international climate action. Two-thirds (67%) of Australians believe that Australia should be a world leader in finding climate change solutions.

More than two-thirds of respondents (71%) support Australia hosting a United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP), which is the biggest event in the United Nations calendar and the largest annual climate conference.

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