Launch of Council for Net Zero Transport Moves Closer to Sustainable Transportation

A really important step was taken when the Council for Net Zero Transport was inaugurated on February 1st, 2024. This new group has been set up to play a pivotal role in the decarbonisation of road transport in the UK. The Zemo Partnership, a collaborative platform dedicated to advancing low-carbon and sustainable transport, is behind the initiative and says the Council aims to provide a clear and strategic direction for getting the UK to meet the ambitious net-zero targets in the transport sector.

Impressive Line-up

The Chairman is Lord Deben, the former environment secretary and chair of the Climate Change Committee. He sits at the head of the Council for Net Zero Transport and aims to bring together senior figures from government, industry, environmental organisations, and academia. Lord Deben spoke of the urgent need to deal with climate change, reminding people of a substantial contribution to the transport sector. It is responsible for over a quarter of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.

"With transport responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, if we’re going to solve this problem, we must effectively decarbonise transport. We must do this for our environment, and we will reap political and economic rewards from doing so," said Lord Deben.

A Complex Process

Claire Haigh, Executive Director of Zemo Partnership, explained the complexity of decarbonising transport and the necessity of working together in many areas. She stressed that getting a successful outcome would immensely benefit the UK's environment, society, and economy. Haigh said that we would need to be highly focused on delivery, urging the full participation of government, industry, consumers, and operators at all levels, from national to local.

In addition to the Council for Net Zero Transport launch, Zemo Partnership announced a trailblazer project that they are running with the Welsh Government – the Welsh Commercial Vehicle Decarbonization program. This initiative works in parallel to the main panel, creating a strategy for Wales, specifically addressing heavy and light-duty commercial vehicles. It will focus on sustainable fuels and electrification and explore the potential role of hydrogen. Zemo Partnership will collaborate closely with the Government of Wales to develop the strategy and pathways for implementation.

It Brings Hope to Many, Including Welsh Ministers

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change in the Government for Wales, said he was really excited about the project, seeing it as a great step in decarbonising commercial vehicles in Wales on the path to net-zero emissions. Philip Sellwood, Chair of Zemo Partnership, emphasised that the Council for Net Zero Transport and working with the Welsh Government are crucial in making a change and decarbonising transportation. He stressed the need for group efforts to deliver the targets, levelling with the environment's best interests and the UK's industrial future. The Council for Net Zero Transport and regional initiatives like the Welsh project signify a determined and collaborative approach to making sustainable and low-carbon transportation in the UK a reality.