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27. 03. 2020 11:03

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Shapps takes first steps to formulate Transport Decarbonisation Plan ready for the autumn

Ahead of the Government publishing its final Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) this autumn - ready for the UK's hosting of COP26 in Glasgow in November - Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has published a key document.

It sets out:

  • How the Government intend to work with others to develop a transport decarbonisation plan
  • The challenge we need to meet to reduce transport emissions and ensuring we reach net zero transport emissions by 2050
  • Reviews of existing climate policy in transport
  • Reviews of existing forecasts of future transport emissions from each mode of transport, plus as a whole

The document is described as "the first step to developing the policy proposals and a coordinated plan" for decarbonising transport.

"Delivering the emissions reduction needed from transport is a significant and sustained challenge and net zero demands a fresh approach. We have a duty to act and continue our global leadership in this area," says the Government.

Creating the transport decarbonisation plan: Government sets out the challenge. New policy document is published that explains the current challenges and steps to be taken when developing the transport decarbonisation plan.

Chapters 1, 2 and 3 present transport modes and their current GHG emissions, the existing strategies and the policies already in place to deliver against our current targets and any future activity or work already committed or underway.

Chapter 4 presents the projected trajectory of the forecast GHG emissions from transport to carbon budget 5 (2028-2032) and beyond based on the firm and funded commitments outlined.

This shows the positive impact of work to date, but the scale of the challenge we face in getting onto a credible net zero pathway.

Chapter 5 describes the challenge in meeting carbon budgets and net zero by 2050 and how the Government has split the challenge into six strategic priorities (diagram below).

Six strategic priorities for the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to deliver a vision of a net zero transport system

Chapter 6 outlines its approach for engaging on this work. Says the DfT: "The plan will not be deliverable without input from a wide range of stakeholders who we will work closely with to develop a bold and credible plan.

"It sets out how we will work with interested parties and communities around the country over the months ahead to take urgent action on climate change, as well as delivering the substantial co-benefits of decarbonisation."

UK domestic transport GHG emissions 1990-2018

Says Mr Shapps: "Climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we need to take action, and doing so is a clear priority for the Government.

"That is why in June 2019 we became the first major global economy to pass a law that requires us to achieve 'net zero' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

"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.

"The associated benefits of bold and ambitious action to tackle
transport emissions are also significant. The faster we act, the greater the benefits.

"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. A series of events, workshops and opportunities this year will ensure you have a chance to have your say on how we do this.

"We want to hear from individuals, businesses, trade associations, local authorities, scientists, researchers, innovators, interest groups and environmental groups as we develop the first comprehensive action plan for decarbonising transport."

Change in road transport GHG emissions and traffic 1990-2018

Concludes Mr Shapps: "In the coming months we will work with you to develop the plan, with a vision for how a net zero transport system will benefit us all:

  • Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our 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.

  • Our 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.

Creating the transport decarbonisation plan: Government sets out the challenge. New policy document is published that explains the current challenges and steps to be taken when developing the transport decarbonisation plan.

Mr Shapps adds: "We 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.

"We will also look to develop a universally recognised measure so that in future, people can easily compare how much CO2 different forms of transport emit over a certain distance.

"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."

Download the report here

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