The government intends to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040.
A consultation on the plan proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes.
The phase out of HGVs is part of the government’s Transport decarbonisation plan which was announced today by transport secretary Grant Shapps. The so-called ‘greenprint’ set out ways in which greenhouse gas emissions will be cut from air, sea, road and rail transport in order for the transport sector to reach net zero by 2050.
In a statement, Shapps said: “Transport is not just how you get around. It is something that fundamentally shapes our towns, cities and countryside, our living standards and our health. It can shape all those things for good or for bad. 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.
“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 commitment comes as the government publishes a green paper setting out the regulatory framework requiring vehicle manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars, vans and HGVs, ‘enabling the country to meet the phase out dates while creating new jobs for the automotive sector and delivering certainty for drivers.’ This includes consulting on the possible introduction of a new phased industry mandate for zero emission vehicles.
Greg Archer, UK director of the Europe-wide green transport campaign group Transport & Environment, said: “To ensure the UK meets its climate targets, the government will need to convert its raft of new proposals into measures that rapidly change how people and goods move. More difficult decisions to reduce vehicle use and flying and reallocate spending towards green transport options will be needed.”
Aviation’s role in tackling climate change is the focus of the Jet zero consultation, which commits the sector to a net zero emissions target by 2050 and sets out an action plan for how it can be achieved. The consultation proposes an earlier target for UK domestic aviation to reach net zero by 2040, as well as for all airport operations in England to be zero emission by 2040.
Emma Gilthorpe, COO of Heathrow and Jet Zero Council CEO, said: “We look forward to working with government to translate this ambition to action and deliver a future where people can continue to enjoy the benefits of air travel – without worrying about their impact on the environment.”