Date Published 2019, March 08

Authors Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter, Jasmin Cantzler, Fabio Sferra, Bill Hare, Gaurav Ganti, Matt Beer

Together with the Australian Conservation Foundation, we have been analysing Australia’s emissions profile and policies. This factsheet focuses on Australia’s vehicle fleet and outlines how it compares with other countries, breaks down the main sources of vehicle emissions and evaluates whether there are policies in place to decarbonise the sector.

  • Australia’s transport emissions are continuing to rise due to high polluting cars, more cars on the road, low share of trips taken by public transportation and increased demand for freight driving truck emissions.


  • Australia’s combined vehicle fleet of 19.2 million vehicles is one of the world’s most polluting and least efficient.


  • Cars currently represent the largest source of transport emissions in Australia. Car emissions have grown by 25% since 1990.


  • The transport sector is the second largest source of emissions in the Australian economy, and emissions are growing fast.


  • Adopting strict standards would significantly reduce car owners’ fuel bills, saving an estimated
    $8,500 over a vehicle’s lifetime, while also avoiding the release of the equivalent of 65m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.