Miscellaneous 2017

An Australian road transport carbon price: A comparative analysis

Source: Australian Tax Research Foundation

Published Date: 1 Jul 2017


Road transport is vital to Australia€'s economy in terms of moving people and goods. Despite this, road transport activities pose a substantial challenge for Australia in terms of climate change: making a sizeable and growing contribution to Australia€'s annual greenhouse gas emissions. However, the decisions that Australians currently make about purchasing, owning, and using vehicles are the same that provide opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in this sector.

This text explores the legal aspects of implementing a carbon price in Australia€'s road transport sector at the time of vehicle purchase, use, and throughout ownership to encourage mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. While laws could impose one of numerous instruments to establish a carbon price, there are strong grounds to utilise existing tax laws for this purpose given both the existing regulatory framework, and heavily taxed nature, of Australia€'s road transport sector. Based on a functional comparison between Australian and German tax laws that affect road transport activities, this text recommends how existing Australian tax laws can be reformed to accommodate climate change objectives, taking account of not only environmental, but industry and revenue priorities. Germany is chosen for comparison based on key industry and tax similarities, and key differences regarding road transport greenhouse gas emissions trends. Reform recommendations made as a result of comparison not only canvass ways to establish a road transport carbon price from a legal perspective, but also the importance of using other laws and measures in the sector to support and reinforce a road transport carbon price.

This text is not only a useful resource on the specific issue of carbon taxes and mitigation of road transport greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, but also in relation to broader themes including climate change policy, legal aspects of carbon pricing, and comparative analysis for the purpose of law reform.


Sorry, this is subscriber only content.

To gain access to this material and much more - Subscribe Now.

(Note: Members can access Taxation in Australia journal articles without a Tax Knowledge Exchange subscription - please log in to access).

Already a Subscriber? Login now

Already a Subscriber? Login now


The material is copyright. Apart any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research criticism or review, as permitted under the copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from The Tax Institute.

Unless expressly stated, opinions are not that of The Tax Institute, which accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the information contained within it.

The Tax Institute
(ABN 45 008 392 372 (PRV14016))


The Tax Institute is a Recognised Tax Agent Association (RTAA) under the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009. 

Copyright Statement

All materials provided on this site are protected by copyright and are owned by or licensed to TTI.

Except as expressly permitted by TTI or the copyright owner, any person or company who uses this site must not use, reproduce, redistribute, retransmit, publish or otherwise transfer, or commercially exploit, the materials or any information, software or other content, in whole or in part, which is available through this site.


Miscellaneous 2017

Share this page