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Climate Group reacts to the UK Transport Decarbonisation Plan

14 July 2021, 8:39 BST 3 min read

Businesses in the UK Electric Fleet Coalition join us in responding to the publication of the UK Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of the international non-profit Climate Group, said: “Following the success of the phase-out announcement last year, it’s good to see the British Government lay out a plan for how this can be achieved. However, time is running out for plans and consultations. We need action. We must halve emissions globally by 2030, and as transport is the sector with the largest emissions total in the UK, there is no option but to be bold. 

“The proposed measures will be welcomed by leading UK businesses, including the 32 who supported a recent Climate Group policy paper calling for a zero emission vehicle sales mandate and stricter vehicle CO2 regulations, both of which are included in the plan. Our recent analysis shows that electrifying fleets can happen in line with a faster timeframe and would play an instrumental role in cutting emissions and unlocking the wider shift to clean road transport, so we’re also pleased to see the commitment to switch the central Government fleet to electric well before the end of the decade. 

“There is no world in which the decarbonisation of transport happens overnight, so we await further clarity from the Government around the timelines for these plans and encourage them to look beyond ambition to action.” 

Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer at BT Group, said: “We welcome today’s announcement by the UK Government, which sends a clear signal that we need to transition to a low carbon economy.

“BT Group is committed to switching its fleet over to electric or zero emissions by 2030 and as members of EV100 and co-founders of the UK Electric Fleets Coalition, we’ll continue to work closely with Government and other organisations to help ensure the UK has a reliable nationwide charging network in place and enough electric vehicles to meet future demand.”

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive at Centrica, said: “As an organisation that has committed to a fully electrified fleet by 2025, the Government’s introduction of plans to mandate electric vehicle production in the UK is music to our ears.

“In addition, while there are some positive steps around charging infrastructure in the plan, we feel it’s absolutely vital that large sections of society aren’t left behind simply because they don’t have a driveway. We need to see a substantial increase of on-street chargers in built-up areas, chargepoints at work and leisure destinations, and rapid charging across the UK’s motorway network.

“It’s vital that Government and business work together to deliver a cleaner transport network that’s both affordable and convenient for consumers.”

Greg Lucas, Sustainability Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland, said: "Sustainable mobility and zero emission vehicles play a vital role in developing a low carbon society. IKEA has committed to ensuring all its last mile deliveries are zero emission by 2025, and we already offer EV charging points to customers at all of our stores. We therefore welcome the UK Government’s announcement in transitioning their fleet to zero emission by 2027 and support the bold ZEV sales mandate to ban sales of all diesel trucks by 2040. These announcements will support us and others in accelerating the transition to ZEVs across society and provide a critical milestone in the UK becoming net zero."

Olly Kunc, Managing Director of Service Delivery, Openreach, said: “As a founding member of the UK Electric Fleet Coalition, and owner of the UK’s second largest commercial fleet, Openreach rightly feels a real responsibility to the environment. This is why we’ve already committed to electrifying our fleet by 2030 and so we absolutely welcome and endorse the UK Government’s zero emission vehicle announcement.”