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Council for Net Zero Transport members revealed

Lord Deben chaired body will engage with new government on decarbonisation of transport

Mark Moran
07 June 2024
Lord Deben


The full membership of the new independent Council for Net Zero Transport has been revealed by the Zemo Partnership, a not-for-profit organisation championing transport decarbonisation.

The Council for Net Zero Transport, which was announced in February, will be chaired by Lord Deben, former chair of the Climate Change Committee.

The council’s membership is drawn from across the transport and energy sectors, with representatives from public sector, business, academic and campaign organisations.

Following the general election, the Council for Net Zero Transport plans to engage with the new government as it refocuses on the challenge of delivering net zero and maximising the benefits to UK Plc from the transition.

The ultimate objective is to provide the next UK government with a coherent, consensus-based plan to guide future policy as well as to provide a clearer basis for policy decisions taken at all tiers of government.

Confirmed members include:

  • Lord Deben (chair)
  • Professor Jillian Anable, chair in Transport and Energy, University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies
  • Elizabeth de Jong, CEO, Fuels Industry UK
  • Mike Hawes, CEO, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
  • Fiona Howarth, CEO, Octopus Electric Vehicles
  • Professor Neville Jackson, chair, RAC Foundation
  • Edmund King OBE, president, Automobile Association
  • Cordi O’Hara OBE FEI, president, UK Electricity Distribution National Grid
  • Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist and policy director, Greenpeace UK
  • Anne Shaw OBE, executive director, Transport for the West Midlands
  • Chris Stark, CEO, Carbon Trust
  • Martin Tugwell, CEO, Transport for the North
  • David Wells OBE, CEO, Logistics UK
  • TBC chair, Local Infrastructure and Net Zero (LINZ) Board, Local Government Association

Lord Deben, chair of the council, said: “The recent High Court decision that the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan was unlawful underlines the scale of the challenge that will be facing the next government. Progress on net zero has stalled. In some areas we’ve gone backwards.

“Transport is one of the most challenging and complex sectors of the UK economy to decarbonise. It is also responsible for around a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“This new council brings together very experienced people in key positions and with the widest range of perspectives to help us forge an evidence-based, multi-stakeholder consensus on how we can maximise the benefits from this essential – and inevitable – transition.”

Zemo Partnership (formerly Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership/LowCVP) 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.  

Claire Haigh, Zemo’s executive director, Claire Haigh, said: “Whoever enters Downing Street on 5 July the fundamental challenges for net zero remain the same. Our dependence on fossil fuels exacerbates the threat of climate change and exposes us to ever increasing risks.

“Transport is the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions. We urgently need to move beyond targets to the delivery of net zero transport. There are huge benefits and industrial opportunities if we get this right. We need a clear roadmap to the destination.

“We’re greatly encouraged that so many leading people with large stakes in the transport decarbonisation agenda have readily agreed to work with us to steer UK transport decarbonisation through this next crucial delivery phase.”

The Zemo Partnership said it will be working closely with more than 200 member organisations to develop an overall delivery roadmap for net zero transport – supported by underlying sectoral roadmaps – showing the best routes to decarbonised UK transport. The council for Net Zero Transport will provide strategic oversight and help to steer the direction.

There will be a report on progress at a series of quarterly briefings, the next one scheduled for 3 September.

Zemo will be holding a broader ‘summit’ on 3 October to engage the partnership’s members and other key stakeholders to inform the sectoral roadmaps.

Comments from members of the Council for Net Zero Transport

Mike Hawes, chief executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders: “Automotive is leading the UK’s transition to zero-emission vehicles, investing billions developing and bringing to market the cars, vans, trucks, buses and taxis needed.

“Net zero is a shared vision and success depends on government and all stakeholders working together to ensure affordable, accessible and practical net zero mobility for all. I look forward to working with colleagues on the Council to drive forward our joint delivery of net zero road transport by 2050.”

David Wells OBE, chief executive, Logistics UK: “The logistics sector is committed to decarbonising but this must be a fair transition that keeps costs down for businesses, public services and households while maintaining resilient supply chains.

“The only way to achieve that is through partnership, with a plan co-developed between businesses and government to get to net zero and phase out fossil fuels. The new Council for Net Zero Transport will play a vital role in developing such a plan and ensuring it’s at the top of the new government’s priorities. I am honoured to be part of it.”

Edmund King OBE, president, The Automobile Association: “Working alongside the Council for Net Zero Transport, we are committed to showing the way as the country transitions to a zero emissions future. The AA has recently added new zero-emission concept vehicles to our fleet including the UK’s first full electric recovery trucks. This is an important step towards our goal of becoming a net zero company by 2035.

“We understand there are still considerable challenges ahead for us as a responsible company, for vehicle manufacturers and indeed for individual drivers but we are here to help.”

Anne Shaw OBE, chief executive, Transport for the West Midlands: “There is no lack of ambition among the transport sector to move towards a greener future – indeed in the West Midlands we are taking great strides towards our target of a net zero carbon region within two decades.

“Our Local Transport Plan is based on the principle of decarbonising our transport and encouraging people to shift from private car journeys to public transport or active travel. We have hundreds of electric buses, more miles of tram lines, bus lanes and cycle routes delivered or under development.

“But we know this may not be enough and we will need government to get behind us, that is why we joining the Council for Net Zero Transport, pooling our expertise to overcome shared challenges and advise Government so action can be targeted to where it will make the most difference and help us transition towards a net zero future.”

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