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UK’s new Council for Net Zero Transport could accelerate transition

The organisation will drive the delivery of low emission road travel across Great Britain.

aerial view of city during daytime

This new body is made up of leading stakeholders from the industry, with Lord Deben, former UK Environment Secretary and Chair of the Climate Change Committee confirmed as the first chair. The group aims to engage with senior figures from government, climate, and academic sectors in order to form a coherent and strategic plan for the decarbonisation of road transport. 

Convened by Zemo Partnership, the Council for Net Zero Transport looks to build on the non-profits 20 year record of providing unbiased advice and guidance to policymakers and professionals on what is needed to successfully move to low and zero emissions travel on UK roads. In addition to the nationwide initiative, the partnership has also announced a small project with the Welsh Government. 

The new Welsh Commercial Vehicle Decarbonisation programme hopes to create and deliver a bespoke strategy to cut carbon emissions from heavy and light-duty commercial vehicles. Focal points will be sustainable fuels, electrification, and potential applications of hydrogen. A new report, Delivering Net Zero in a Changing World, has also been published, and can be downloaded for free here. 

‘Our generation faces no greater challenge than that of tackling climate change,’ said Lord Deben. ‘With transport responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, if we’re going to solve this problem we have to effectively decarbonise transport. We must do this for our environment, and we will reap rewards both politically and economically from doing so.’

‘Decarbonising transport is a vital – and particularly challenging – element of the UK’s legally binding net zero targets.The policy prescriptions needed to do this are complex, nuanced and cross-sectoral, and achieving a successful outcome will be of huge benefit to the UK’s environment, society and economy,’ added Claire Haigh, Zemo’s Executive Director. ‘This is too vital a task for us to be distracted by over-simplifications and the short-term vagaries of our political system. ‘We have some world-leading targets but we’re at a key moment in the transition and what we need now is a laser-like focus on delivery. To achieve this, we’ll need the full participation of government (nationally and locally – to the level of each town and parish council) industry, consumers and operators.’

More on road transport: 

Confectionary giant announces switch to electric trucks for European logistics

Oxford upgrades to one of Britain’s largest electric bus fleets

Low-income Glasgow residents offered free bike share membership

Image: Alexander Schimmeck

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