Government clarity needed to decarbonise transport

London, UK:  Government needs to clarify it policies on the route to net zero to give business confidence to invest in low carbon technology, says Logistics UK.

Michelle Gardner, acting deputy director – public policy, Logistics UK, said: “With climate change one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community, logistics businesses are taking steps to support the UK’s decarbonisation agenda, but our members need further clarity and confidence to make business investment decisions.”

There is an urgent need to decarbonise the logistics industry but further government clarity on the route to net zero is required immediately to ensure businesses have the confidence and certainty needed to invest in low emission solutions, Logistics UK said.

Logistics UK has launched a report, Decarbonising Logistics: The journey to net zero, to highlight the sector’s decarbonisation transition. Split by transport mode, the report looks in detail at the government’s policy direction and fiscal incentives, relevant technology and infrastructure developments, and test projects, in addition to the sector’s progress to date in response. 

“While the determination from industry may be there, the road to net zero is paved with uncertainty – currently there is no mass market zero emission HGV available, for example, and very limited alternative fuel or refuelling network,” Gardner said.

“Through this new report, we highlight the areas of action that are needed to help progress the industry’s decarbonisation journey and make net zero a reality,” she said.
 
Logistics UK is calling on government to undertake several essential actions, including rethinking the regulatory framework for zero tailpipe emission vehicles and drivers and setting out the ways that the UK’s energy infrastructure and networks are going to be upgraded to ensure sufficient power is available to the logistics sector, once petrol and diesel are no longer fuelling options.

The government must also support trials of zero tailpipe emission technologies at scale and for extended periods in real world situations. 
 
“The logistics industry wants to play its part in ensuring the UK reaches its climate change targets on the journey to net zero, but it cannot do it alone. With the right support, the logistics industry can move quicker on the journey to decarbonisation,” Gardner said.
 
The UK’s independent Climate Change Committee has said that the UK is not currently on track to meet its fourth (2023-27) or the fifth (2028-32) carbon budgets. To achieve net zero, the committee says the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will need to accelerate, making it clear that we must see greater progression towards net zero from all sectors of the economy.  
 
UPS, DHL, John Lewis, Wincanton, Tarmac, Scottish Water, Royal Borough of Greenwich, and John Raymond Transport are some of the companies to sign up to Logistics UK’s Route to Net Zero commitment, pledging to decarbonise their operations as quickly and as effectively as possible to help speed up the UK’s path to net zero by 2050. 
 

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