Council for Net Zero Transport formed to support new UK government

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A new independent body, the Council for Net Zero Transport, has been formed to accelerate decarbonisation of the transport sector. 

Membership of the council has been announced, with the organisation saying it “is well placed to support the new government as it refocuses on the challenge of delivering net zero and maximising the benefits to UK Plc from the transition”.

The new council has been announced by Zemo Partnership – formerly Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership/LowCVP - a not-for-profit organisation and has been working for more than two decades to provide unbiased guidance to government and industry around the policy and initiatives needed to accelerate road transport decarbonisation.

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

He 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, multistakeholder consensus on how we can maximise the benefits from this essential – and inevitable – transition.”

Zemo’s executive director, Claire Haigh, added: “Whoever enters Downing Street on 5th 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 partnership 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 September 3. 

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

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.

Other members include: 

  • 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
  • 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
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