Today’s official data release from the government confirmed what many already suspected – transport is the laggard in the UK’s shift to a greener economy. In 2017 emissions from road, rail, shipping and domestic air travel made up 27 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, registering no improvement on 2016 rates, and remaining the single largest pollution source for the UK. Clearly, for all the talk of electric cars, green taxis and hydrogen trucks, the UK is failing to move fast enough on transport emissions. The brutal truth is that since 1990, we have only managed to cut transport emissions by two per cent. Green transport campaigners insist the way to finally start making progress on transport emissions is to encourage people out of their private cars and back onto public transport. A new report released today by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) is calling for a massive expansion in the UK’s rail network to connect 500,000 people living in disadvantaged communities with rail travel. The move would require a £4.8bn investment from government to build out 33 new rail lines and 72 new stations, but would deliver an extra 20 million rail passenger journeys a year, CBT claimed, and a correspondingly sizeable cut to road miles.
Business Green 5th Feb 2019 read more »
Zero progress has been made in reducing climate-harming emissions from the UK’s most polluting sector, according to new government figures. In 2017 levels of greenhouse gases from cars and other forms of transport did not fall at all. Campaigners accused the government of ignoring the “elephant in the room” and investing in new roads at the expense of the nation’s future climate targets. With more and more electricity coming from renewable sources, transport is now firmly established as the biggest polluter, responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s emissions. Overall the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 42 per cent since 1990, with a 3 per cent drop between 2016 and 2017, the most recent period for which figures are available. However, while most sectors have seen considerable declines of up to two-thirds in the past three decades, transport pollution has fallen by just 2 per cent.
Independent 5th Feb 2019 read more »