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

Europe's largest firms set to miss net-zero targets

Almost one-third of Europe's largest companies have now set net-zero emissions targets, but far less are set to deliver on their ambitions.

7th October 2021

Read more

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has today unveiled the most significant changes to its reporting standards since 2016, setting a new benchmark for corporate sustainability.

5th October 2021

Read more

Seven of the UK's 17 key industry sectors are still increasing their emissions year-on-year, and most will miss their 2050 net-zero targets without significant government action, new research suggests.

23rd September 2021

Read more

In February 2019, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 322 on Sustainable Finance was formed.

23rd September 2021

Read more

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.

22nd September 2021

Read more

The UK government must develop regulation to stop the financial sector from providing billions of pounds to companies that threaten rainforests worldwide, WWF has said.

10th September 2021

Read more

Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.

9th September 2021

Read more

Thames Water has been fined £4m after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river.

30th July 2021

Read more

In June 2021, the UK’s governing Conservative Party lost a by-election in Chesham and Amersham, a seat it had held for 47 years. The principal reasons reported as the cause of this defeat were proposed planning reforms and the promotion of housebuilding on greenfield sites across the south of England.

30th July 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