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Transport emissions can be 14% lower by 2020, says DfT

Carbon emissions from domestic transport can be cut by up to 14% by 2020, according to a strategy published today by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The strategy, entitled Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future, details carbon reduction plans that should significantly lower transport sector emissions over the next 11 years.

Andrew Adonis, Secretary of State for Transport, called the strategy “a long-term vision for a fundamentally different transport system”.

“It puts us on a path towards a low carbon transport system,” he said, “giving people and business more low carbon choices about when, where and how to travel or to transport goods.”

A low carbon path

The strategy states that an additional 85M tonnes of CO2 from domestic transport can be saved from 2018-2022.

The main aims set out by the DfT are to support a shift to new technologies and fuels, to promote lower carbon choices and to use market mechanisms to encourage the shift to lower carbon transport.

The strategy details plans for a new steering group for the freight and logistics industry to find effective ways of measuring, reporting and reducing emissions.

“This is a vision for a fundamentally different transport system.”

Andrew Adonis, Transport Secretary

It also pledges a commitment to work with European partners on the regulation of CO2 from new vans and encouraging the development of the ultra-low carbon van market.

Another key element of the strategy is the proposal of eligibility criteria for the £2-5,000 consumer incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, expected to apply from 2011.

An update has also been published on the infrastructure framework which is supporting this scheme.

Taking the first step

Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) welcomed the strategy, calling it “a great first step”.

“We welcome the recognition that we need to change behaviour as well as have green technology,” said Executive Director Stephen Joseph.

“We want the Government to fund low carbon alternatives.”

Stephen Joseph, CfBT

However, Joseph said that the Government’s other transport plans, such as road and airport expansion and increased rail fares, would undermine the low carbon strategy.

“We want the Government to fund low carbon alternatives such as public transport and safe cycle routes,” he said.

“We’re particularly disappointed that the Government has rejected our proposed carbon reduction fund for transport.”

A continuing programme

Adonis said: “We have already begun – and will continue – a strong programme of activity to tackle the climate change impact of transport.

“Decarbonising this sector has to be front and centre of efforts to meet our obligations and commitments to tackle climate change.”

The strategy aims to help progress in line with the Climate Change Act 2008, which set emissions reduction targets to be reached by 2022 and 2050.

Transport currently makes up 21% of all UK domestic carbon emissions.

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