Call for clarity on government’s net zero U-turn
Prime minister Rishi Sunak’s net zero U-turn announcement on 20 September, postponing the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars to 2035 has been met with frustration and concern from across the logistics sector.
The RHA said the government had failed to lay out a clear plan, which it said was detrimental for the industry. The association added that it is seeking “urgent clarity” from government on what today’s announcement means for the future of HGVs. “Businesses looking to play their part on the road to net zero need certainty, not delays,” it warned.
Image by Paul Buffington on Unsplash
The RHA said the government needs to collaborate with industry to come up with a detailed plan that provides certainty for investment, drives innovation, and directs support “for those who want to do the right thing.”
ChargeUk, which represents the charging sector, condemned the PM’s decision to for a net zero u-turn.
It said that members of ChargeUK have committed over £6bn to roll out EV infrastructure in all parts of the UK at an “unprecedented” rate, which has seen a new public charging point going live every 20 minutes, creating sustainable jobs and supporting the switch to EVs as well as reducing emissions and improving air quality.
It stated: “For many years the UK has been a leader in the transition to the green economy of the future. Government policies have attracted investment to the UK and created well paid, high quality jobs.”
It added: “Today’s extremely worrying news is not consistent with economic stability or confidence. It will compromise the entire industry, and place jobs and consumer and investor confidence at risk.
“More importantly, government will penalise individual drivers who are doing the right thing. More and more people are making the transition to electric vehicles, as they have been encouraged to do.
“They are entitled to expect government to keep its promises and continue to support the roll out of charging infrastructure across the UK.
Jon Lawes, MD Novuna Vehicle Solutions, one of the UK’s largest leasing companies, also raised concerns about the net zero u-turn.
He said: “Any rollback in the long standing 2030 deadline sends out the wrong message to manufacturers and drivers, and threatens future investment in the UK’s battery supply and charging infrastructure, both critical to realising zero emissions mobility. We’ve come a long way and can’t lose sight of the ultimate goal to reduce carbon emissions.”
Written by Tim Wallace for Motor Transport © 23 March 2023.
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