London, Jul 14 (PTI) Cleaner air, healthier communities and tens of thousands of new green jobs are set to become reality thanks to the UK’s so-called “greenprint” to decarbonise transport by 2050, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday.
The plan, dubbed a world-leading vision, aims to cut emissions from the seas, skies, roads and railways by setting out a pathway for the country’s transport sector to reach net zero by 2050.
It involves a pledge to end the sale of all new, polluting road vehicles by 2040 and net zero aviation emissions by 2050 in the lead up to the COP26 climate summit hosted by the UK in November this year.
“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,” said Shapps.
“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,” he said.
The government says cleaner transport will create and support highly skilled jobs, with the production of zero emission road vehicles alone having the potential to support tens of thousands of jobs worth up to 9.7 billion pounds gross value added (GVA) in 2050.
This will also ensure the air we breathe is cleaner in our communities and reduce time spent in traffic, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.
The government department says it wants to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, subject to consultation, combined with the 2035 phase out date for polluting cars and vans.
The consultation proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes – or earlier if a faster transition seems feasible.
Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, said: “The Transport decarbonisation plan will help to provide logistics businesses with confidence and clarity on the steps they must take on the pathway to net zero.
“Consultation on proposed phase out dates for new diesel HGVs should enable business to move forwards with confidence. Rail, shipping and aviation are all essential parts of logistics, so plans to support freight modal shift and develop technologies to reduce emissions across these modes are welcome.” DfT says that with billions of pounds in investment already pledged, including 2 billion pounds in cycling and walking and 2.8 billion pounds to support industry and motorists to make the switch to cleaner vehicles, the decarbonisation plan also sets out how the government will improve public transport and increase support for active travel to make them the natural first choice for commuters. PTI AK 07141630 RUP RUP