UK government unveils transport decarbonisation plan

15th July 2021


Web heavy goods credit canetti istock 1058248498

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Transport ,
  • Policy ,
  • UK government

Author

Christopher Welsh

The sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be banned in the UK by 2040 under proposals unveiled in the government's transport decarbonisation plan yesterday.

Combined with the 2035 phase out date for polluting cars and vans, the announcement represents a “world-leading” pledge to end the sale all new polluting road vehicles within the next two decades.

Subject to a consultation, new vehicles weighing 3.5 to 26 tonnes will be banned by 2035, while those weighing more than 26 tonnes will be phased out by 2040, or earlier if a faster transition is feasible.

The transport decarbonisation 'greenprint' also includes plans to increase support for active travel, such as cycling and walking, and to create a net-zero rail network by 2050, and a net-zero domestic aviation industry by 2040.

Zero-emission road vehicles alone having the potential to support tens of thousands of jobs worth up to £9.7bn in 2050, while also cutting pollution and traffic, according to the Department for Transport.

“Decarbonisation is not just some technocratic process. It’s about how we make sure that transport shapes quality of life and the economy in ways that are good,” said transport secretary Grant Shapps.

“It’s not about stopping people doing things, it’s about doing the same things differently. We will still fly on holiday, but in more efficient aircraft, using sustainable fuel. We will still drive, but increasingly in zero-emission cars.”

“The transport decarbonisation 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.”

To help the transition to zero-emission vehicles, the government has published a green paper setting out the regulatory framework requiring manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars, vans and HGVs.

It has also published a 2035 delivery plan, which brings together all the measures for decarbonising cars and vans, from across government, into a single document.

Mike Thompson, chief economist at the Climate Change Committee, said that the transport decarbonisation plan “looks in line with our recommendations”, but warned that the devil we be in the detail.

He added: “We look forward to scrutinising the government’s proposals fully and carefully while we await delivery of other key roadmaps on heating, hydrogen, food, biomass, the Treasury’s Net Zero Review, and the government’s overall Net Zero Strategy.”

Image credit: iStock


Transform articles

Interview with Ian Goldin: Warnings from history

COVID-19 offers the world a huge chance to beat a path to sustainability, says Oxford University professor Ian Goldin – but we must learn from past crises, he tells Huw Morris

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.

26th July 2021

Read more

The total cost of waste crime in England has increased by 53% in just three years, and now costs the country nearly £1bn annually, a recent study has uncovered.

23rd July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

Public money spent rescuing economies from the impact of COVID-19 is set to do more harm than good to the environment, new research suggests.

16th July 2021

Read more

A coalition of investors representing over $6.6trn (£4.8trn) in assets have called for the EU's carbon price to treble by the end of this decade.

8th July 2021

Read more

IEMA has today called for a “rapid reset” to align UK environmental policy and action with the significant risks facing the country, following publication of a new progress report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

24th June 2021

Read more

Renewable energy will account for nearly 40% of the world's power mix by the end of this decade, overtaking coal within the next few years, according to research by GlobalData.

24th June 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert