Climate Policy Dashboard Update: Transport Decarbonisation Plan
Policy Connect updates its Climate Policy Dashboard in response to the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which sets out the Government’s commitments and pathways to decarbonise transport in the UK.
"The Transport Decarbonisation Plan sets out some positive steps in reducing road surface emissions, but significant policies on active and public transport, rail, and - crucially - aviation are all still lacking. In the run up to COP 26, this is a missed opportunity: in the coming months we hope that the government will put plans in place to reduce emissions across all modes of transport. As such, when we measure these new policies against what we need to be seeing to reach net zero, our ranking of the government's efforts remains at 5/10." – Daisy Cooper, Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group
The Transport Decarbonisation Plan has been published. As transport is the largest contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, this plan is not only important but timely in the run up to COP 26.
There are many welcome measures within the Plan. These include a consultation on phasing out dates for new, non-zero emission HGVs, with a view to end the sale of large non-zero emission HGVs from 2040 and lighter HGVs from 2035. There is also a 2035 delivery plan which sets out milestones towards phase out dates for petrol and diesel cars and vans, and a consultation on the Government's Jet Zero strategy, which will set out the steps to reach net zero aviation emissions by 2050.
The Government is also leading by example in decarbonising the central government fleet. This includes a commitment to make 25% of the Government car fleet ultra-low emission by December 2022, and 100% of the Government car and van fleet zero emission by 2027, accelerating the target by three years.
However, in other areas of transport policy further ambition and action is needed. There are no significant policy directions provided in rail, shipping, and aviation as we await the Rail Decarbonisation Strategy and the Aviation Decarbonisation Strategy.
The Plan also missed a chance to announce new funding and policies on active and public transport, although this is expected soon. Instead, it notes the previously announced £2 billion package of funding for active travel over five years.
The Transport Decarbonisation Plan contains many net-zero ambitions across different forms of transport. However, with no new funding or mechanisms announced to deliver the policies needed to match these ambitions, the government’s score in the transport sector will remain a 5/10. The Climate Policy Dashboard will continue to monitor progress as key transport announcements are made.