According to the Climate Council Australia, transport is the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in Australia, resulting in nearly 17% of the country’s emissions per year. This sector has also observed a rapid growth, increasing by 60% in the last three decades. Roughly half of the transport emissions in Australia are caused by cars. To put this into perspective, cars in Australia emit nearly the same amount of greenhouse gases as Queensland’s entire coal and gas fired electricity supply. There are a number of ways through which transport emission rates can be reduced significantly. Access to reliable and comfortable public transport, and other viable alternatives to driving such as cycling and walking is one of the foremost solutions to drive down transport emission rates.
The reason why public transport is a better alternative for transport requirement is that it involves less emission per person kilometre than cars in Australia. For instance, the average emission rate of CO2 by an average car sold in Australia in 2015 was as much as 184 gCO2/km. Comparing this to metro trains, light rails and bus transport systems, the average rates drop to 3-22 gCO2/km per person. Thus, the use of public transport can lead to significantly fewer emissions per person per kilometre than an average car used. Australia has been ranked the second worst for transport energy efficiency when compared with 23 of the largest energy-using countries. This in turn suggests that as a country, we have high emitting cars, a low use of public transport and low spending on public transport (to name a few). Although development in management and infrastructure of the transport sector is very important, I do believe that we, as individuals, can play a significant role in reducing our greenhouse emission rates. The Victorian Government’s Health Hub classifies walking, cycling and public transport as active transport. The use of active transport is directly related to better health outcomes, improved social connectedness and a reduced health issues that are related to air pollution. These insights emphasised the benefits of the use of public transport. Therefore, I decided to take this step to play my role in reducing my greenhouse gas emissions. Through my years of study, I have always used the public transport to reduce my fossil fuel footprint. This is despite the fact that I have access to a car. Additionally, the use of trains and buses, and walking around has had a significant impact on my health, time efficiency and travel expenses. I strongly believe that every member of the community can play their role in creating a safer, cleaner and healthier environment for a better future.