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The Department for Transport says that carbon emissions from UK inland transport will be reduced by up to 14 per cent by 2020, compared to business as usual, as a result of the Government's current and future policy initiatives for the sector. The announcement was included in a barrage of publications to accompany a new White Paper on the Low Carbon Transition. Also announced was the creation of a new Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to streamline and coordinate policy delivery within Government and the publication of a new report on low carbon technologies for heavy goods vehicles.
The Department for Transport said in a press release that transport currently makes up 21 per cent of all UK domestic carbon emissions. Its new strategy document entitled 'Low carbon transport: a greener future' sets out the policies and proposals for reducing transport sector emissions to 2022.
The strategy sets out how an additional 85 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from domestic transport can be saved from 2018-2022 by: supporting a shift to new technologies and fuels; promoting lower carbon choices; and using market mechanisms to encourage the shift to lower carbon transport.
Under the Government's proposals for the Low Carbon Transition, all sectors of the economy, including transport are expected to produce carbon reductions by 2020.
The Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said: "Transport accounts for a significant amount of our domestic emissions. Therefore decarbonising this sector has to be front and centre of efforts to meet our obligations and commitments to tackle climate change.
“Our strategy sets out a long-term vision for a fundamentally different transport system in our country, where carbon reduction is a central consideration in the way we do business.
"If we are to safeguard the future of transport then we must also safeguard the environment that it impacts upon – I am determined to do that."
Greg Archer, the LowCVP Managing Director said: "I welcome the explicit acknowledgement in today's announcements of the importance of carbon reductions in the transport sector in terms of the overall reduction targets.
"The LowCVP provides a unique structure for validating and strengthening the work of the new OLEV and we will welcome the opportunity to work with officials under the new, streamlined structure when it is set up in the autumn."
Key elements in the transport strategy include: a new steering group for the freight and logistics industry; a commitment to work with European partners to regulate CO2 from new vans; proposals for eligibility criteria for the £2-5,000 consumer incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, expected to apply from 2011.
The Government has also announced - through its report entitled 'A Low Carbon Industrial Strategy' - that there will be a new Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) which will bring together Government officials from the involved departments: BIS, DfT, DECC, DCLG and HMT. OLEV will coordinate and streamline Government action in this area of policy and will "link to the cities, the regions and industry expertise to deliver the policy package outlined".
Recruitment to OLEV is expected to take place over the summer with the new Office becoming operational in the autumn.
The Department for Transport has also published a new Review of Low Carbon Technologies for Heavy Goods Vehicles. Prepared for the DfT by Ricardo, the report attempts to identify the most applicable low carbon technologies for HGVs on which future transport policies can be based. (See associated report link and LowCVP news story.)
An online news hub has been set up to provide links to content on the Low Carbon Transition with content from BIS, DECC and DFT. This includes photographs, videos, podcasts, core facts and links to all publications.
The LowCVP has issued a press release in response to the Government announcements.