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Council for Net Zero Transport seeks to accelerate decarbonisation

01 February 2024
Lord Deben
Delivering Net Zero in a Changing World.
Delivering Net Zero in a Changing World.

 

A new Council for Net Zero Transport has been formed with the aim of helping the decarbonisation transition.

The council has been convened by Zemo Partnership and will be chaired by Lord Deben, formerly UK environment secretary and chair of the Climate Change Committee.

It will engage senior figures from government, industry, environment and academic sectors to help focus the partnership to forge a strategic direction for road transport decarbonisation.  

Lord Deben said: “Our generation faces no greater challenge than that of tackling climate change. With transport responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, if we’re going to solve this problem we have to effectively decarbonise transport. We must do this for our environment, and we will reap rewards both politically and economically from doing so.”

Zemo’s new executive director, Claire Haigh, welcomed the formation of council in a new report Delivering Net Zero in a Changing World.

At the launch event, Haigh said: “Decarbonising transport is a vital – and particularly challenging – element of the UK’s legally binding net zero targets. The policy prescriptions needed to do this are complex, nuanced and cross-sectoral, and achieving a successful outcome will be of huge benefit to the UK’s environment, society and economy. This is too vital a task for us to be distracted by over-simplifications and the short-term vagaries of our political system.

“We have some world-leading targets but we’re at a key moment in the transition and what we need now is a laser-like focus on delivery. To achieve this, we’ll need the full participation of government (nationally and locally – to the level of each town and parish council) industry, consumers and operators.”

Zemo Partnership (formerly Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership/LowCVP) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been working for over two decades to provide unbiased guidance to government and industry around the policy and initiatives needed to accelerate road transport decarbonisation. 

The council was announced as the Zemo Partnership announced that it has been commissioned by the Welsh Government to deliver a bespoke strategy for Wales covering heavy and light-duty commercial vehicles.

The Welsh Commercial Vehicle Decarbonisation programme has focus on sustainable fuels, electrification and the potential role for hydrogen. Zemo will be working closely with the Government of Wales to develop the strategy and routes to delivery.

Lee Waters, deputy minister for climate change in the Government for Wales said: “We’re excited by the potential of this project to stimulate and accelerate the decarbonisation of commercial vehicles in Wales which we view as a key challenge on our path to net zero.”

Zemo Partnership’s chair, Philip Sellwood CBE, said: “The new Council for Net Zero Transport along with the invitation to work alongside the Welsh Government come at a key time in transport’s decarbonisation transition.

“We’ll be working even more closely with our wide-ranging membership to focus on what we need to do together to deliver the targets in the best interests of our environment and the UK’s industrial future.”

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