Government sets up Net Zero Transport Board to help shape decarbonisation plans

The Government has set up a Net Zero Transport Board with industry leaders who met for the first time yesterday with the aim of creating a ‘joined up’ approach to tackling transport decarbonisation alongside the launch of public consultation.

The new board of ‘high-profile expert stakeholders’ will help guide and shape the Government’s transport decarbonisation plan, according to the Department for Transport (DfT) as well as the public being asked to provide feedback on how they think the Government should tackle the challenge.

The board will bring together high-profile leaders from a range of fields including behavioural change and policy, as well as experts from a number of prominent industry sectors including environment, science, aviation and technology. “The meetings will guarantee a truly collaborative and joined up approach to tackling the wide-ranging issue of transport decarbonisation,” says the DfT.

The group provided the opportunity for the Transport Secretary, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean and Minister for Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng to hear from high-profile expert stakeholders on what steps they feel government should be taking to ensure a green recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) and the associated economic impact.

The agenda covered what further action the government should be taking to support jobs and the economy in line with the UK’s transport decarbonisation goals with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, highlighting the government’s aim for two million jobs by 2030 in the low carbon economy and its supply chains.

Mr Shapps said that many of the actions being taken to deliver net zero are investments that will also stimulate the economy and grow new low carbon industries across the UK.

He said: “Transport has a huge part to play in tackling climate change and today’s meeting is another important step for this country on our road to net zero. Clearly our ground-breaking transport decarbonisation plan must be shaped by the best brains and informed by the widest array of expertise and experience. I’m determined to build a greener, healthier, more prosperous Britain for future generations and I have no doubt that the Net Zero Transport Board will play an integral part in our green recovery.”

The DfT said the board will also help shape and inform the transport decarbonisation plan coming later this year. It is the first time the UK will lay out its approach to decarbonising every form of transport, setting out a credible and ambitious pathway to delivering transport’s contribution to carbon budgets and to meeting net zero by 2050.

Last year, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “The Transport Net Zero Board will be a key component of our greenprint for the future. The coronavirus pandemic has led to people making huge changes to the way they live, work and travel, and we want to capitalise and build on the new habits people have developed, as well as champion the power of new, cleaner technologies on our road to a green recovery.” The government has pledged to put a green recovery for transport at the heart of its decisions, and the meeting later today follows the unprecedented work taking place as part of the green economic recovery including a £2 billion fund for cycling and walking – the largest investment ever made in this area, said the DfT.

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