Vehicles, roads and internal combustion engines have disastrous side effects for animals, the environment and people. The Animal Justice Party (AJP) recognises that Australia needs a national shift away from road transport and toward other more environmentally-friendly modes, including all forms of rail and mass transit, together with walking and cycling. This shift needs to be concurrent with changes in urban and inter-city planning and development, with the wellbeing of animals and people factored into the design (see our Human Population Policy).
In addition to long term goals, we have an urgent need to rapidly decarbonise Australia’s transport system. Powering vehicles with alternative energy sources such as hydrogen or electricity is a good start, but it is not enough to slow climate change or environmental destruction, or keep us within climate carbon budgets. This will require not only different vehicles but also far fewer.
- Encourage the growth of efficient, low carbon transport and steep reductions in private vehicles, particularly in urban areas.
- Rapidly transition away from the internal combustion engine towards hydrogen, electric vehicles and other clean technology with better emissions standards (possibly including offsets) in the interim.
- Provide financial incentives to both producers and consumers to switch to more eco-friendly land transport solutions.
- Ensure that public transport is affordable, reliable, accessible and safe for all people and companion animals.
- Prioritise walkability, active transport and public transport in town planning while minimising travel time.
- Support the technologies and practices that will allow for remote work where appropriate.
- Reduce animal deaths and injuries on roads by modifying vehicles and existing roads, including wildlife infrastructure.
- Cease the expansion and widening of road networks that destroy ecosystems and encourage urban sprawl and car-dependent communities.
- Reduce inner-city traffic by reallocating road and car park space for native habitats, cyclists, pedestrians and social connectivity and connections with nature.
- Ensure the adoption of automated, self-driving vehicles provides a net benefit for animals and nature and does not lead to heavier road use and urban sprawl.