Thursday, April 22, 2021

Logistics Lobby Speaks Out as UK Government Commits to Cleaner Air by 2035

Now Action is Needed to Promote New Technologies and Transport Modes
Shipping News Feature

UK – Despite what would seem initially a paradox, the freight and logistics sector has wholeheartedly backed the drive to reduce the transport industry's emissions. The reasons of course are not entirely magnanimous. The commitment is driven by factors such as customer demand, all businesses wishing to present a cleaner image to the world, and the fact that retooling the industry might actually lead to newer equipment and higher profits.

As shipping lines and shipbuilders along with hauliers and truck makers seek cleaner transport modes, the transport lobby has spoken on UK government commitments made this week to cut emissions by 78%, compared to 1995 levels, by the year 2035. Announcing the intentions Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

”We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change, and that’s why we’re setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world. The UK will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs.

”We want to see world leaders follow our lead and match our ambition in the run up to the crucial climate summit COP26, as we will only build back greener and protect our planet if we come together to take action.”

Cynics will point out that this administration will be long gone by that proposed date, however the need to demonstrate the will to create a change in the climate is now widely accepted and the transport industry seems committed to be in the vanguard of the movement. Speaking on Earth Day, Alex Veitch, General Manager for Public Policy at Logistics UK explained what the sector needs now are pragmatic plans to ensure that the target can be achieved by all areas of the industry:

“Logistics businesses are fully committed to playing their part in reducing the sector’s emissions and achieving the 78% target recommended by 2035. What we need now is a clear roadmap from government on how this can be achieved, with the correct support and enablers for industry to adopt the cleanest vehicles and working practices.

“The UK government’s plans must align clearly with other international standards and targets for all modes of transport, to ensure consistency and prevent additional costs and unintended consequences for UK businesses. Our members stand ready and willing to do their part in achieving emissions targets: government now needs to provide clarity and guidance to minimise disruption to the supply chain and enable the switch to the next generation of transport modes.

“Ambition without action will just lead to disappointment for all involved. Logistics can provide advice to government on the best ways to achieve this target, and what is needed to make it happen, including new product development and a robust refuelling network. As an industry, we need that level of detail now and are ready and waiting to provide any guidance required so that the target can be achieved.”

Photo: Courtesy of Volvo Trucks.