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Landmark strategy lays out UK’s path to net zero

It was almost two and a half years ago that Theresa May, in the final days of her premiership, enshrined in law a commitment for the UK to reach net zero by 2050, making Britain the first major economy to do so.

Last week (19 October 2021), the UK government set out how it will reach that ambitious target, when it published its Net Zero Strategy, less than a fortnight ahead of COP26 being hosted in Glasgow.  


On transport, the strategy restates much of what was announced in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan published in the summer, with the addition of some new policy announcements. Chief among these was a pledge for an additional £620 million to support funding for the rollout of electric charging infrastructure and targeted plug-in vehicle grants. The government also recommitted to publishing its EV infrastructure strategy later this year.  


The government also pledged to introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate, following consultation, that will set targets for a percentage of manufacturers’ new car and van sales to be zero-emission each year from 2024. The detail of this is expected to be consulted on next year, although the government hopes this will help deliver the 2030 phase-out date for petrol and diesel cars and vans.  


The government committed to electrifying more railway lines as part of plans to deliver a net-zero rail network by 2050. Its ambition is to remove all diesel-only trains by 2040. Aviation is a more challenging mode to decarbonise, but the government committed to developing a UK sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) mandate to enable the delivery of 10% SAF by 2030.

Michelle Gardner, Head of Public Policy and decarbonisation lead at Logistics UK, said: “We welcome the additional funding committed to by government for electrified vehicles. It is imperative, however, that all logistics businesses are given adequate government support to help them meet the various milestones along the road to net zero.”


Published On: 28/10/2021 16:00:00


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