UK Low Carbon Transport Strategy

The Government has published its ‘Low carbon transport: a greener future’ strategy

It sets out the policies and proposals for reducing transport sector emissions through to 2022 – although some of the initiatives have already been announced.

Transport currently makes up 21 per cent of all UK domestic carbon emissions. Carbon emissions from domestic transport will be reduced by up to 14 per cent over the next decade as a result of the strategy, published today by Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis.

It also frames the debate for the longer-term decarbonisation of transport to give people and businesses more low carbon choices about when, where and how to travel or transport goods.

Andrew Adonis said: “Transport accounts for a significant amount of our domestic emissions. Therefore decarbonising this sector has to be front and centre of efforts to meet our obligations and commitments to tackle climate change.

“Our strategy sets out a long-term vision for a fundamentally different transport system in our country, where carbon reduction is a central consideration in the way we do business.

“If we are to safeguard the future of transport then we must also safeguard the environment that it impacts upon – I am determined to do that.”

Today’s strategy sets out how an additional 85 million tonnes of CO2 from domestic transport can be saved from 2018-2022 by supporting a shift to new technologies and fuels, promoting lower carbon choices, and using market mechanisms to encourage the shift to lower carbon transport.

Key elements in the strategy include:

* A new steering group for the freight and logistics industry to find effective ways of measuring, reporting and reducing emissions across the logistics sector;

* A commitment to work with European partners to develop a robust mechanism for regulating CO2 from new vans, including clear targets for the medium and long-term and a mechanism to encourage the development of the ultra-low carbon van market whilst respecting the diversity of the van market;

* Proposed eligibility criteria for the £2-5,000 consumer incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, expected to apply from 2011. This includes the requirement for the vehicle to have maximum tailpipe emissions of 75g CO2/km. An update has also been published on the infrastructure framework which is supporting this scheme.

This publication builds on ongoing initiatives to reduce carbon emissions from transport and is part of a wider government comprehensive plan for decarbonising the UK and maximising the economic benefits presented by low carbon industries.

This strategy builds on ongoing initiatives including:


* agreement in December 2008 to a demanding framework with our European partners for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from new cars – expected to save 7 million tonnes of CO2 in the UK by 2020;
* reduce CO2 emissions from UK aviation to below 2005 levels by 2050 and challenging the aviation industry to innovate and adopt better fuel efficiency;
* securing international agreement to reducing CO2 emissions from aviation and shipping, a key priority for the UN talks in Copenhagen at the end of this year;
* setting out in April the way to create a flourishing market for ultra-low emissions vehicles in the UK for both consumers and industry – through a £100m combination of support for research and development, and £250m for  consumer incentives and funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
* announcing in May that large urban areas across England are being given the chance to bid in a £29m competition to become the country’s first Sustainable Travel City;
* in June announcing further measures to advance new, greener technology on our roads. Up to 150 low emission and all-electric vans will be introduced to public sector fleets; a £25m programme delivered by the Technology Strategy Board will see over 340 ultra-low emissions vehicles demonstrated around the UK;
* A £30m scheme to encourage uptake of low emission buses;
* £5m programme to radically improve cycle facilities at our railway stations;
* Substantial investment in public transport, for example through transformational projects such as the £16 billion Crossrail scheme and  the £8.9 billion West Coast Mainline upgrade;
* New guidance will be issued shortly to local and regional government as they begin to develop new local transport plans and longer-term transport solutions to emphasise the importance of addressing CO2 form transport.

‘Low carbon transport: a greener future’ can be found here: www.dft.gov.uk/carbonreduction

‘Ultra-low carbon cars: Next steps on delivering the £250 million consumer incentive programme for electric and plug-in hybrid cars’ can be found here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/scienceresearch/technology/lowcarbonelecvehicles

‘Review of Low Carbon Technologies for Heavy Goods Vehicles’ can be found here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/freight/lowcarbontechnologies