Sales of new petrol and diesel lorries will be banned by 2040, the government said today as it revealed its new “greenprint” for decarbonising the UK’s transport network.
In combination with plans to end the sales of polluting cars by 2030, that means that all UK road transport should be zero carbon by the end of the next two decades.
Under the proposals, which are still under consultation, the government plans to get rid of all polluting HGVs by 2040, and polluting lorries weighing under 26 tonnes by 2035.
In addition, the decarbonisation strategy also laid out plans for a net-zero emissions rail network by 2050, and zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040.
It has also brought forward the target date for the whole central government fleet of 40,000 cars and vans to be fully zero emission by 2027, three years earlier than previously planned.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The Transport decarbonisation plan is just the start – we will need continued efforts and collaboration to deliver its ambitious commitments, which will ultimately create sustainable economic growth through healthier communities as we build back greener.”
Businesses largely welcomed the plans, with Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK Policy director, saying that the plans were an “important signal” to the market.
“These must be backed up with credible plans to accelerate the development of clean technologies like hydrogen and Sustainable Aviation Fuels, as well as a comprehensive plan for rolling out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles”, he added.
Luke Murphy, head of the IPPR Environmental Justice Commission, said it was a “missed opportunity” to cut overall car use.
“Though we await the detail, there appears to be little additional funding to support the switch to more affordable and clean transport alternatives to cut overall car use”, he said.
“This would be a missed opportunity to put in place a new approach to how we all travel, with solutions benefiting wellbeing, health and environment.”
And the No Third Runway Coalition, which opposes the building of a new runway at Heathrow, said that the plans were “immaterial” if the expansion went ahead.
“This target is immaterial to the Government’s laudable goal to achieve decarbonisation, which, in relation to aviation, can only be achieved by ruling out Heathrow expansion of once and for all”, Paul McGuinness said.