The UK government has vowed to accelerate its climate action for transport sector by drafting new plans to end emissions from trains, planes and cars by 2050. Ministers promised to begin the groundwork on the government’s first detailed plan to decarbonise the transport sector immediately, and unveil the plan in full next year. The climate action roadmap will be one of many new government climate proposals expected in 2020 to help meet the UK’s legally binding target to build a carbon neutral economy by 2050. The plans follow a damning rebuke from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) earlier this year, in which John Gummer, the committee chair, likened the government’s climate efforts to the TV comedy Dad’s Army. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said: “We want to work with industry and communities around the country to develop this plan – to make our towns and cities better places to live, help to create new jobs, improve air quality and our health, and take urgent action on climate change.” Shapps was speaking on the same day that environmental protesters targeted the Department for Transport offices over its support for the HS2 rail project, which is expected to run through ancient woodlands. The transport climate roadmap is expected to bring forward a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 after Shapps told the Conservative party conference this month that the government would “thoroughly explore the case” for a 2035 deadline. The government also hopes to unleash a large-scale battery boom by cutting red tape in the planning system for energy storage projects larger than 50MW. This should help energy companies build bigger batteries faster, and at lower costs, to make help use more of the UK’s renewable electricity projects. Under separate plans the government has proposed setting out tougher minimum energy efficiency standards for rented workplaces which could put British businesses in line for savings of around £1bn a year on energy bills. Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary, said the government would build on Britain’s track record on climate action, and “will keep on going further and faster to ensure our action meets our ambition”.
Guardian 15th Oct 2019 read more »
If there was anywhere that SNP MSPs wanted to be last week, it certainly wasn’t in the Holyrood Chamber voting down a series of amendments put forward by Conservative MSPs to exempt key workers from the proposed car park tax. This is the “Workplace Parking Levy”, a policy enthusiastically put forward by the SNP’s Finance Secretary as part of his budget deal with the Greens last year. It means that councils will have the power to charge a tax on car park spaces at work which could cost workers using their cars to commute up to £500 a year. Whilst leaving the detailed design of the tax up to the local council, the Scottish Government decreed that NHS workers should be exempt. Why, then, asked my Conservative colleagues, should the same exemption not apply to other parts of the public sector, such as teachers, emergency service workers, the police, or, for that matter, those in low-paid private sector jobs such as in security, hospitality or care? One by one, Conservative amendments to protect those in public sector jobs, the low-paid, the disabled, or those driving electric vehicles were voted down by SNP MSPs.
Scotsman 16th Oct 2019 read more »
How Nottingham cut air pollution with UK’s only workplace parking levy. The UK’s only workplace parking levy has priced many drivers off the road but it is popular because the money is invested in public transport and the city’s air is becoming cleaner.
FT 16th Oct 2019 read more »
UK airports are planning to expand almost three times faster than the government’s climate change advisers say is sustainable, according to research by Sky News. Our analysis of the “masterplans” for 21 of the country’s biggest airports show they intend to add 192 million passengers to the 286 million that already use their terminals over the next 10-20 years. That’s a growth of 67%.
Sky News 16th Oct 2019 read more »
Growing preference for SUVs challenges emissions reductions in passenger car market. A dramatic shift towards bigger and heavier cars has led to a doubling of the share of SUVs over the last decade. As a result, there are now over 200 million SUVs around the world, up from about 35 million in 2010, accounting for 60% of the increase in the global car fleet since 2010. Around 40% of annual car sales today are SUVs, compared with less than 20% a decade ago.
IEA 15th Oct 2019 read more »