Vehicles and emissions
Sydney's Air Quality-Global comparison and influencing factors
Vehicle emissions have decreased
While motor vehicles are an important contributor to emissions, it should be acknowledged that they only make up a proportion of total emissions. To put this into perspective, wood fires emit around 50 per cent of Sydney’s total particle emissions.
Reducing emissions at the source
Government initiatives and technological developments have also been implemented in recent years to assist in further reducing vehicle emissions. They include:
- National Clean Air Agreement
- More stringent standards for fuel efficiency, vehicle emissions and fuel quality for light vehicles:
- Vehicle import duties on second‑hand cars
- Clean fleet program
We will continue to work with the Commonwealth and support initiatives to further reduce motor vehicle emissions at the source.
The NSW Government’s Future Transport 2056 Strategy outlines plans to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable community and support the NSW Government’s Climate Change Policy Framework and its aspirational target of zero net emissions by 2050. This includes:
- Encouraging a shift from private car use to public transport
- Promoting low emission vehicles
- Working with industry partners on new fuel efficient vehicle technologies and transition to a low emissions passenger vehicle fleet
- Release of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Plan to facilitate the take up of low emission, fuel efficient vehicles and maximise their benefits for passenger and freight mobility, productivity and liveable communities
Emissions of air pollutants have decreased significantly since 2003
Despite there being more cars and trucks on the road, vehicle emissions have fallen over the past twenty years, as a result of improved fuel quality and engine designs.
We will see a further decline over the next decade as new, cleaner vehicles replace older models.
Compare 2003 to measured and forecast data
Source: Adapted from EPA 2012 and 2016