A national carbon-pricing scheme would result in fewer freight trucks on the nation’s roads, an independent report into the greenhouse impact of Australian transport has found.
The Australia Institute study found that a shift from roads to sea freight would deliver cleaner environmental outcomes and assist Australia meet Greenhouse reduction targets.
The report found that road transport accounts for less than 40 per cent of the domestic freight task, but is responsible for over 80 per cent of freight emissions.
In comparison, shipping accounts for 22 per cent of the freight task and only four per cent of emissions.
Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the report shows that Australian shipping should be part of the solution to meeting the challenges of climate change.
"The Howard Government’s neglect of Australian shipping is yet another example of this Prime Minister failing to address and plan for the inevitabilities of climate change," said Paddy Crumlin.
"Instead, this Government has undermined shipping – by far the most environmentally friendly transport mode – for more than a decade.
"As a result Australia’s shipping fleet is aging, its market share has been depleted and the potential for emissions reductions has been severely hampered," said Mr Crumlin.
"The environmental advantages of getting freight off our roads and onto ships are clear – not to mention the obvious safety benefits for road users."
"Australia needs transport policy that recognises the integral role of shipping and provides for Australia’s future economic and environmental sustainability," he said.