Lift reform and lower emissions: ALC


The Australian Logistics Council has linked the latest Federal Government emissions figures firmly to reform, efficiency and support. Greenhouse gas emissions from the general transport and storage sector rose 3.6 percent between 2008-09 and 2009-10, the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts 2009-10 show.

By Rob McKay | April 19, 2012

The Australian Logistics Council has linked the latest Federal Government emissions figures firmly to reform, efficiency and support.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the general transport and storage sector rose 3.6 percent between 2008-09 and 2009-10, the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts 2009-10 show.

And the sector’s emissions have risen 81.5 percent in the past 20 years.

"The latest national greenhouse accounts showing an increase in emissions from the transport sector illustrate the need for more efficient supply chains," ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says.

"Improving industry access and addressing ‘last mile’ issues will improve industry efficiency and help to reduce emissions.

"The figures also highlight the need for greater government support for industry efforts to reduce emissions from the sector.

"These efforts include the purchase of more environmentally friendly vehicles, improved route optimisation, and research into new vehicle design that can further reduce fleet emissions."

Kilgariff highlights Toll’s recent purchase of Isuzu compressed natural gas trucks and Linfox’s ongoing commitment to reducing emissions as a prime examples of the efforts the industry is putting in.

"ALC believes greater government research and investment into such things as smart fuel technology and low emission equipment and facilities would complement what industry is already doing to reduce emissions from the sector," he adds.

"These figures also help to illustrate why ALC argued for competitive neutralitybetween transport modes under a carbon price.

"We believe the introduction of a carbon price with inconsistent start up dates across the industry may have the unintended consequence of actually disadvantaging the forms of transport that could potentially offer the greatest savings of greenhouse gas emissions.

"The freight logistics industry is taking positive steps towards transitioning Australia to a low carbon future, but our efforts should be accompanied by policies that ensure competitive neutrality across the transport modes."

The emissions accounts are part of a swathe of statistics that the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has just released.

Despite its reliance on fuel, the sector remains the lowest emitter, dwarfed as it is by the utilities, primary industries, mining, residential and commercial services and construction.

As a source of 2009-10 emissions, "transport" - in its broadest sense and which includes private use - stands third at 14.8 percent, behind "electricity" (35.9 percent ) and "other stationary combustion (16.5 percent), but as a percentage of economic activity, "transport and storage" sits at 4.9 percent overall.

Interestingly, indirect emissions – or Scope 2 emissions, measured on the amount of electricity bought - fell in the year measured.

After more than doubling from 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent to 3.7 million tonnes between 1989-90 and 2008-09, the figure slipped back to 3.3 million tonnes in 2009-10.

Meanwhile, the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory-QuarterlyReport-December 2011 states that, since 1990, emissions from heavy-duty trucks rose 48.2 percent to 16.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent while that for light-commercials rose 68.6 percent to 12.6 million tonnes.

In calendar 2011, "transport" was at "16 percent of Australia’s national inventory".

The quarterly report states that road transport, including private vehicles and motorbikes, made contributed 71.5 million tonnes out of a total of 83.2 million tonnes.

It appears that the very general nature of the sectors used is due to the need for compatibility
with internationally-agreed, process-based emission classifications.

Sources with an understanding of the reports say that, at this stage, there is limited data available to determine the allocation of liquid fuel consumption between transport and other sectors

This means it is possible that estimates for the transport sector may be revised in future when new data sources, such as National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data, become available for 2011.

They warn that "transport and storage", which is a more detailed classification, and "transport" are not comparable.

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