DfT recognises FTA’s contribution to freight carbon agenda

Friday 10 February 2017

 The Freight Transport Association (FTA)’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) is playing a significant role in reducing carbon emissions from freight transport, according to the Department for Transport’s Freight Carbon Review published today. But the Association has warned that further reductions will not be possible without investment from Government in infrastructure and technology.

Domestic transport currently accounts for 25 per cent of total UK carbon emissions. Although the biggest contributor of emissions is cars (63%), HGVs represent 17% of carbon emissions and the scheme has been introduced to ensure that the logistics industry continues its commitment to reducing emissions.

The Review assesses how industry can reduce carbon emissions up to 2030. It covers the current evidence on how the freight sector is seeking to decarbonise and identifies opportunities for further reductions, focusing on operational efficiencies (eco-driving and telematics), fleet design, reducing road miles and alternative fuels.

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy, said, “This Review is a helpful step forward by the Government in progressing the emissions agenda. We know there is still much work to be done to make further carbon reductions in the freight sector. Our members are working hard to increase efficiency and reduce their carbon footprints, but both industry and Government must continue to work together to identify where the freight sector can make the biggest wins.

“Making the switch to alternative fuels is challenging for many operators, with a lack of public refuelling infrastructure and the expense of new technology, so we need further Government support. Shifting more transport to rail and water will be a key component of this, but as road freight will remain the dominant mode in logistics for the foreseeable future, we must seek as much carbon efficiency as we can from that sector. This is why projects such as the Longer Semi-Trailer Trial are so welcome.

“Industry, too, must play its part. Year-on-year, LCRS members outperform the sector as a whole when it comes to carbon reduction and has shown the freight sector’s ability to progress the climate change agenda through use of intelligent measures. The LCRS is a simple, free way of recording, reporting and reducing carbon emissions and we are pleased Government continues to acknowledge its work and its potential to help support operators particularly smaller businesses in the future.”

Last published in 2012, the Freight Carbon Review represents the UK Government’s summary of industry-led efforts to reduce carbon emissions from freight. And while improvements have been made, Mr Snelling warns operators against complacency, urging them to keep up to date with new technologies that can help to progress their green credentials.

“The biggest challenge to the carbon agenda over the next few years is trying to meet the Government’s demands on air quality. Euro VI trucks are around 80% cleaner on local pollutants than previous versions, but no better on greenhouse gas emissions. There is a danger that companies will be forced to exclusively focus on acquiring Euro VI vehicles which may means the move to alternative fuels will stall. More Government support on both air quality and carbon is need to make sure this doesn’t happen,” he said.
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