Government publishes Freight Carbon Review

Carbon Review

The Government has published its Freight Carbon Review, which presents evidence on the opportunities for and barriers to reducing road freight greenhouse gas emissions.

The report identifies a range of government and industry-led options, and outlines a number of measures the government will put in place to support the road freight industry in reducing GHGs.  It will inform the Government’s ‘Emissions Reduction Plan’, which will set out how it intends the UK to reduce GHG emissions through the 2020s.  It will also support the development of further measures on air quality under the forthcoming ‘Air Quality Plan’.

According to Commercial Fleet, the Government is looking to allow operators of alternatively-fuelled HGVs up to an extra tonne in weight to account for their heavier drivetrains, and is also developing proposals that would allow Category B driving licence holders to operate alternatively-fuelled vans up to 4,250kg.  Other measures identified in the report include working with the Energy Saving Trust to pilot an HGV fleet review scheme to help SME fleet operators reduce fuel consumption and costs, and supporting the roll-out of the HGV technology accreditation scheme.

Welcoming the publication of the review, Andy Eastlake, Managing Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, said:  “The relative contribution of the commercial vehicle sector to total emissions has been growing but it has not, until now, had the same level of focused support as the car or bus sectors (or, indeed, walking and cycling).  It provides some of the best opportunities for innovative solutions to make an impact on carbon dioxide emissions.

“The Partnership has been working closely with the Department for Transport to develop the data and benchmarks necessary to provide ‘building-blocks’ for effective policy in this area.  We will continue to work with the government and industry to support the further roll-out of the HGV accreditation scheme and other policy mechanisms that may be associated with it in future.

“We have already held several events and activities to renew stakeholder focus on low emission freight transport (some in association with TfL’s LoCITY initiative) and have re-established the LowCVP’s Commercial Vehicle Working Group.”

Heavy goods vehicles are estimated to account for around 17% of UK greenhouse gas emissions from road transport and around 21% of road transport nitrous oxide emissions.