Leading businesses want plan on air pollution in Spending Review

Fifteen transport businesses and organisations including DPD and Lime have joined forces with environmental law charity ClientEarth to urge the UK government to fast-track action on air pollution.

The group says the plan would help provide a roadmap for the period between now and the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars introduced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

In an open letter to the Chancellor, sent on Monday, the group calls on the government to support a four-point plan for a resilient economy that would benefit the planet and people’s health.

It also comes as the Chancellor prepares to present a Spending Review on 25 November, which will lay out the government’s spending plans for the year ahead.

Dominic Phinn, who leads business engagement on air pollution at ClientEarth, said: “The government has announced a slew of ambitious reforms to tackle the climate and air pollution crises. Businesses now want to see if this is going to be backed up by a clear roadmap with incentives, regulation and funding. This would allow them invest in cleaner forms of transport with confidence.”

In the letter, the group is calling for:

  • A ‘mobility credit scheme’ to incentivise people to switch from an older polluting vehicle to a cleaner form of transport, such as zero emission exhaust vehicles (ZEEVs)
  • Increased funding for businesses developing technologies that support a zero emission transport system
  • Measures, e.g. a time-limited VAT rebate or exemption, that would incentivise the uptake of cleaner vehicles until they reach cost-parity with petrol and diesel counterparts
  • A long-term plan for delivering ZEEV infrastructure, to accompany the £1.3bn announced in the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan

Mr Phinn added: “We need to be honest: some businesses are opposing the inevitable direction of travel. But there is also broad appetite in the UK business community to fight against the negative impacts of air pollution. This action plan has real teeth and if the government takes it up, businesses will have the clarity they need to move forward with the transition.”

The signatories to the open letter to the Prime Minister are: DPD, UPS UK, LeasePlan, Lime, Osprey Charging, Liberty Charge, Dennis Eagle, Ricardo, Volta Trucks, Octopus EV, CMS Supatrak, The British Retail Consortium, The Westminster Commission on Road Air Quality, Global Action Plan and ClientEarth.

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