Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has been confirmed as keynote speaker at next week's Virtual Smart Transport Conference.
The conference, which takes place over two half days on June 8 and 9 and is free to attend, will bring together senior public sector policymakers at national and local level, and influential private sector leaders from across the UK’s transport sector.
The key themes of the conference are decarbonisation and the future of transport post-Covid-19.
Kwarteng, who was appointed secretary of state in January, has responsibility for tackling climate change, delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and ensuring the UK remains at the leading edge of science, research and innovation, while leading the Government’s relationships with business.
He will be speaking on the morning of June 8 on BEIS’s approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry.
Kwarteng said: “Cutting emissions from planes, trains and automobiles is critical if we are to end our contribution to climate change by 2050. An essential part of this is our aim to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – faster than any other G7 nation.
“We are backing up these ambitions with a £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This will power up our efforts to build back greener by embedding the next generation of cutting-edge automotive technologies in the UK.”
Kwarteng is one of a number of high-profile speakers taking part in the conference.
Keith Williams, author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, will also speak on day one of the conference, on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.
On day two (June 9), Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, will discuss the industry’s future and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.
Other confirmed plenary speakers for the conference include:
- Huw Merriman, chair of the Transport Select Committee, who will outline the steps the committee believes the Government should take to address transport decarbonisation.
- Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, who will share insights from the organisation’s weekly surveys on how people feel about travel during the pandemic.
- Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, who will provide a US perspective on transport, outlining the challenges and opportunities she sees within the US transport policy.
Eight breakout sessions across the two days will also pick up on the decarbonisation and Covid-19 themes. The topics are: addressing urban air quality; place-based solutions to decarbonise transport; switching to electric; achieving modal shift; decarbonising freight; transport outside cities; data and new mobility trends; and universal and inclusive transport.
Smart Transport would like to thank its Headline Strategic Partners for their support with this virtual event including ABB, Centrica, Daf Trucks, Enterprise, FedEx, Geotab, LeasePlan, Liberty Charge, Macquarie, Raleigh, Renault and Worldline.
Conference website: conference.smarttransport.org.uk.