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World’s first ‘greenprint’ to decarbonise all modes of domestic transport

The government’s new and all-encompassing Transport decarbonisation plan includes at least one new and specific intention – to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, subject to consultation. 

Combined with the existing 2035 phase out date for polluting cars and vans, this represents a world-leading pledge to phase out all polluting road vehicles within the next two decades, says the Department for Transport (DfT).

In the bigger picture, cleaner air, healthier communities and tens of thousands of new green jobs will also be delivered. With just months to go until COP26, the plan provides a ‘greenprint’ to cut emissions from our seas and skies, roads and railways, setting out a credible pathway for the whole transport sector to reach net zero by 2050, adds the DfT.

Cleaner transport will also create and support highly skilled jobs, with the production of zero emission road vehicles alone having the potential to support tens of thousands of these by 2050, says the government.

The consultation on HGVs proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes.

The plan also sets out how the government will improve public transport and increase support for active travel – to make these the natural first choice for all who can take them. It intends to create a net zero rail network by 2050, ensure net zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040 and lead the transition to green shipping.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Transport is not just how you get around. It is something that fundamentally shapes our towns, cities and countryside, our living standards and our health. It can shape all those things for good or for bad. The plan is just the start – we will need continued efforts and collaboration to deliver its ambitious commitments, which will ultimately create sustainable economic growth through healthier communities as we build back greener.’

The accompanying Transitioning to zero emissions cars and vans: 2035 delivery plan sets out some detail of how all new cars and vans will be ‘100% zero emission at the tailpipe’ by 2035. One step will be the phasing out of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

Chief Executive of the Zemo Partnership, formerly the LowCVP Partnership, Andy Eastlake welcomed the plan: ‘The clear commitment to move all our road vehicles to zero emissions is critical, but even more important is the appetite to think differently about how this can be delivered. Transport is perhaps one of the most emotive and complex areas of our lives and society, but zero tailpipe emission transport technology is already here. How we make this the default everywhere while also reducing overall demand for energy and other resources is the real challenge.’

‘It’s therefore encouraging to see that the plan considers fiscal, behavioural, digital and other policy options as the exciting technology and energy revolutions gather pace.  How effectively we can work collaboratively across sectors to bring all these together will be a true test of success of this plan, added Eastlake.

News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Countries: UK -

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