Industry commits to climate change but wants regulatory reform

By: Jason Whittaker

The transport industry wants to play a key role in reducing emissions but there must be government action to fix

The transport industry wants to play a key role in reducing emissions but there must be government action to fix bottlenecks, according to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).

Delegates at the ALC’s Energy and Environment Summit committed to working towards zero net carbon emissions in what ALC Chairman Ivan Backman says is the first step to an efficient and sustainable transport and logistics industry.

The summit reached a consensus to support the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, and listed a number of options as to how the industry can slash its greenhouse gases.

This involves a reinvigorated approach to increasing rail and coastal shipping productivity as well as championing new technological advances.

The summit also recognised the importance of a whole of supply chain approach, agreeing collaboration across sectors will help drive efficiency gains and reduce emissions.

"The discussion at today’s summit was robust and wide-ranging but there was a strong commitment for the transport and logistics industry to proactively act to reduce transport emissions," Backman says.

But these efforts to slash emissions will only work if governments reduce the regulatory burden on the industry and actively work toward structural changes, the ALC argues.

The summit agreed this must start by ensuring all sectors in the transport and logistics industry are treated the same under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

ALC Chief Executive Hal Morris has been critical of the Government’s decision to exclude shipping and rail from the proposal to cut one cent of fuel excise for every one cent gain in the price of fuel from emissions trading.

Delegates also urged governments to work together in driving infrastructure planning, investment and regulatory reforms, which they agreed needs to include a strong focus on rail and greater access for higher productivity vehicles such as B-triples.

"The transport and logistics industry recognises there must be leadership and partnership approach backed up by real commitment and action from both the private sector and government to reduce emissions from the transport sector," Backman says.

The communiqué from the summit also repeats calls from the industry for nationally consistent cross border regulation as well as accelerated depreciation of older heavy vehicles. The ALC wants trucking operators given incentives to move to the latest low-emission trucks.

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