Australia must do - and more importantly, be seen to do - its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport, says Professor Nicholas Low, Director of the University of Melbourne-based Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT).
Speaking ahead of an international conference organised by GAMUT on "Sustainable Transport in the Asia-Indo-Pacific", Professor Low says Australia needs to work harder to move transport planning in the right direction.
"Australia needs to reduce its emissions by a factor of 18 to bring it back to parity with the rest of the world."
"There's no doubt everyone has the same right to mobility, but they thus have the same responsibility to minimise carbon emissions."
"We know India and China want greater mobility and they have the right to it, but this will have consequences not just for climate change but also the future of their own cities."
"I'm not sure whether Australia is yet in a position to lead China and India with regards to transport planning, but it cannot afford to lag behind either."
"The question is, how can we move away from the current, disjointed transport system - buses running for bus customers, trams for tram customers etc - to a system where people are mobility customers, who want a system that serves their mobility needs in the best possible way, and doesn't destroy the city in the process."
Professor Low says one of the issues for Australia is its lack of strong planning systems. "I think we have to address transport alongside land use planning, but we can't expect land use planning by itself to save us from our transport defects."
"We have to learn to provide better, more integrated transport in the low density cities that we have, much like Europe has."