The government has unveiled plans to reduce carbon emissions from domestic transport by up to 14 per cent over the next decade by promoting cycling, low-emission cars and high-speed rail.
The strategy entitled ‘Low-carbon transport: a greener future’ sets out the policies for reducing transport sector emissions, which make up 21 per cent of total UK domestic carbon emissions.
Key elements of the strategy include incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, the development of an ultra-low carbon van market and the introduction of a steering group for the freight and logistics industry.
According to transport sectary, Andrew Adonis, these measures will help achieve an 85m tonne reduction in carbon emissions from 2018-2022.
Adonis said: ‘Transport accounts for a significant amount of our domestic emissions. Therefore decarbonising this sector has to be at the 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.’
The publication has been welcomed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which is keen to establish closer collaboration with the government to implement its technology roadmap.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: ‘The UK motor industry has made significant progress in cutting CO2 emissions but greater achievements can be made in the short, medium and long term by pursuing a portfolio of technologies, including traditional petrol and diesel engines right through to hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicles.’
He added: ‘Vehicle manufacturers are committed to cutting CO2 emissions and commercial vehicles are a growing part of modern road transport. In partnership with government, SMMT has already implemented practical ways of informing van drivers of their environmental choices. These decisions will have a significant impact on the operating costs of all businesses making close consultation between industry, operators and government essential.’