Optimism about UK’s NETZERO Becomes a Challenge

Original Content

The UK’s government has announced it will push back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 5 years. The logistics industry has responded with mixed feelings. Some are happy but many say remaining optimistic about the overall goal is becoming more of a challenge. Read a full feature on how the industry feels on page 6. We spoke to Transporeon on their thoughts and what the new change means.

What is your view on net zero goals and how fast should we all move towards them?

Since the recent announcement about the UK softening its zero-emissions policy, remaining optimistic has proved challenging. Despite the fact that the UK deindustrialisation fosters the actual decarbonisation by 87%, the UK has not been on track to achieve its decarbonisation goals.

In June 2023 the independent UK government consultant “Climate Change Committee” called the progress “worryingly slow” and confirmed the UK wasn’t on a trajectory to reach its reduction targets.

Could the UK achieve its 2050 targets with the new announcement?

Apart from shifting the cost into the future, even in the very unlikely scenario that the net zero target by 2050 would still be reached, works of professor Alan McKinnon made crystal clear that it´s not just about net zero: “One must also take account of the emissions that will accumulate in the atmosphere over the intervening years”.

The new plan would increase the UK “carbon budget” by one third approximately, contributing to global temperature increase. Any current cost savings will lead to additional future expenses. The efforts required for decarbonisation cannot be evaded or ignored.

If these measures are being postponed they will just return, whether this is in a few years down the line, during the next government or even the next generation.

What would the implication for the industry and your company be based on the recent government announcement?

The industry is seemingly opposed to the new announcement. In the UK, the logistics industry is willing to decarbonise, and any distraction from that path is likely to be problematic, potentially damaging the sector if it were to slow its pace of change. Furthermore, the chance to counter the investments needed by profits from growing low-carbon business opportunities is missed. ✷

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