Government Faces Pressure to Support Alternatives to Diesel

The UK government has recently faced a battery of requests and demands from businesses and industry leaders alike to support sustainable alternatives to conventional diesel fuel. As the world continues to tackle the ever-growing climate change problem with renewed urgency, governments across the world are facing more pressure to help develop alternative forms of fuel and energy, and the diesel industry is the latest area to be scrutinised by businesses and environmental organisations.

An Alliance Across Businesses

The demand for changes to be made to the way that we currently pursue alternative fuel supplies comes from an alliance of more than 30 industry leaders across the transport world. Some of these individuals are representatives of large fleets of vehicles. They have all called together to ask the government to cut some of the duties that they impose upon clean diesel replacements.

Despite the fact that there has been an increased focus on rolling out more electric vehicles than ever before, the group maintains that less than 5% of the required electric vehicle charging areas exist within the UK. It is for this reason that many industry leaders argue we should focus more on supporting cleaner fuel sources while developing different types of EV infrastructure.

Expert Opinions

Julian Keites is the director of sustainability at Green Biofuels. He has the following to say about the subject:

“Electric vehicles are not the be all and end all of sustainable transport, and scrapping existing vehicles is not a green solution. Sustainable alternatives to harmful diesel fuels – used particularly in heavy goods vehicles, trains and maritime – have a vital role to play in rapidly cutting greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.

The collaboration of support shown by uniting these diverse range of business leaders and environmental campaigners demonstrates the positive and practical role advanced biofuels play in the future of the UK’s transition to net-zero.”

The group recently wrote a letter to Transport Minister Jesse Norman, making reference to how important it is to try and cut down on the pollution caused by diesel fuels. The letter claims that 1 in every 20 deaths are caused by poor air quality, be it through fostering a health problem or exacerbating an existing one.

A passage from the letter reads as follows:

“While some incentives do exist in the UK, these do not achieve price parity with diesel. As such, we believe your department, in collaboration with the Treasury, should look at reducing duties and creating tax incentives to catalyse the switch to renewable diesel.”

At the time of writing, the UK transport sector was responsible for 27% of all fuel emissions in 2023, but it is argued that the use of advanced biofuels could help to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector by up to 90%.

The letter goes on to argue that price reductions could be aimed at renewable diesel fuel, which could be done at no cost to the taxpayer. This would be done by creating a price parity with diesel fuels.