Decarbonising transport: Devolve money and power to local authorities


Decarbonising transport requires an integrated, multi modal approach, with more freight shifted to rail and government taking palpable action to sort out public transport. Meanwhile, power and funding should be handed to local authorities to cut emissions from short journeys.

Those are key recommendations from a new report from the Aldersdate Group, a think tank whose members include some of the UK’s biggest companies and MPs from across parties.

Other actions include setting “rapidly tightening” emissions standards once the UK leaves the EU; paying upfront grants to people who buy electric vehicles until they reach cost parity; and more focused funding for EV charging infrastructure.

The report also calls for targeted support to help hard-to-decarbonise sectors, such as heavy goods, with more funding for hydrogen and biomethane trials.

Justin Laney, general manager of fleet, John Lewis Partnership, backed that view.

“Radical change is needed to decarbonise long distance heavy trucks. These vehicles are the most challenging to tackle, but also the ones that deliver the biggest benefit,” he said.

“Our view at the John Lewis Partnership is that biomethane is the best solution for the next 20 to 25 years, and after that electrification, whereby trucks are supplied by power from an electrified overhead line. Government has been very supportive of low carbon trials, and it is important that continues, combined with creating the right tax and fuel duty regime that provides a sound, long term business case.”

Other business leaders offered support for the proposals. See what they had to say, and download the report, here.

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