Smart Transport

Decarbonising transport requires ‘step change in ambition’, says DfT

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, has said the scale of the challenge for decarbonising transport in the UK requires a step change in scale and ambition to reach net zero by 2050.

Shapps made the statement as part of the DfT’s Decarbonising Transport Setting the Challenge report.

The DfT is asking for feedback from individuals, businesses, trade associations, local authorities, scientists, researchers, innovators, interest groups and environmental groups to help develop its action plan for decarbonising transport.

Shapps said: “Transport has a huge role to play in the economy reaching net zero.

“The scale of the challenge demands a step change in both the breadth and scale of ambition and we have a duty to act quickly and decisively to reduce emissions.

“Through the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, 2020 will be the year we set out the policies and plans needed to tackle transport emissions. This document marks the start of this process. It gives a clear view of where we are today and the size of emissions reduction we need.”

The DfT’s Decarbonising Transport Setting the Challenge main areas of focus:

  • Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for daily activities. We will use cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network.
  • From motorcycles to HGVs, all road vehicles will be zero emission. Technological advances, including new modes of transport and mobility innovation, will change the way vehicles are used.
  • Goods will be delivered through an integrated, efficient and sustainable delivery system.
  • Clean, place-based solutions will meet the needs of local people. Changes and leadership at a local level will make an important contribution to reducing national GHG emissions.
  • The UK will be an internationally recognised leader in environmentally sustainable, low carbon technology and innovation in transport.
  • The UK will lead the development of sustainable biofuels, hybrid and electric aircraft to lessen and remove the impact of aviation on the environment and by 2050, zero emission ships will be commonplace globally.

Shapps said the Government is also looking to develop a universally recognised measure so that in future, people can compare how much CO2 different forms of transport emit over a certain distance.

He said: “Success will require the sector, and its users, to embrace new technology and innovation like never before. We believe the transport sector is ready to step up and meet those challenges.”

The full plan is expected to be published in time for the UN's annual climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow this November.

Businesses and individuals can share their views on what actions the Government should take in order to decarbonise transport through email [email protected] or by letter to Transport Decarbonisation Plan, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London, SW1P 4DR.

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