14 Jul Climate change: Sale of new diesel and petrol HGVs to be banned after 2040 | Climate News
There will be no new diesel or petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) sold after 2040 as part of a government plan to decarbonise the transport sector, the UK’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
The announcement was condemned by the Road Haulage Association.
Its managing director Rod McKenzie told Sky News that alternative technologies like hydrogen and electricity are either too expensive or don’t provide enough range, and that there needs to be more certainty for such a critical industry.
He said: “This proposal is unrealistic. Alternative HGVs don’t yet exist.
“We don’t know when they’ll exist, and we don’t know how much they’ll cost, and it’s not clear what any transition will look like.
“So this is blue-sky thinking way ahead of real life reality.
“For many haulage companies there are big fears around the cost of new vehicles, and a collapse in the resale value of existing ones.”
But UK Director of the Europe-wide green transport campaign group Transport & Environment, Greg Archer, emphasised the importance of ambition.
He said: “This plan is a milestone in the shift to a more sustainable UK transport system.
“The decision to only use zero-emission road vehicles – including trucks – by 2050 is world leading and will significantly reduce Britain’s climate impact and improve the air we breathe.”
The Department for Transport’s ‘greenprint’ for helping the UK get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 includes several new announcements, including a commitment to get domestic aviation emissions to net zero by 2040, ten years earlier than previously promised.
It also includes a pledge to make the government’s own fleet of approximately 40,000 cars and vans net zero by 2027, three years sooner than planned, as well as a proposal to make sure that newly installed home charging points for electric vehicles are run using a smart meter so that they draw from the grid at the cheapest and most environmentally friendly times.
Some campaign groups were critical of the plan, which has yet to receive full and detailed backing from the Treasury.
Chris Venables, head of politics at the Green Alliance, told Sky News: “Unless we see action now from the Treasury, and from Rishi Sunak, the decarbonising transport plan and any plan on climate that comes over the coming weeks, won’t deliver what it needs to, and we won’t see a serious and credible plan from this government on climate change.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Of course long-term decisions like how the roads are paid for are matters for the Treasury. That’s not what we’re addressing today.
“But what we are doing is launching a plan, which is quite literally world beating amongst major economies.
“No other country has set out their decarbonisation plan in this level of detail.
“It’s not about stopping people doing things: it’s about doing the same things differently. We will still fly on holiday, but in more efficient aircraft, using sustainable fuel. We will still drive, but increasingly in zero-emission cars.”
Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.
The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.
Hosted by Anna Jones, it follows Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.
The show also highlights solutions to the crisis and how small changes can make a big difference.