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DfT has published their Decarbonising Transport Plan

The Government is developing an ambitious plan to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport. 

The Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) will set out in detail what government, business and society will need to do to deliver the significant emissions reduction needed across all modes of transport, putting us on a pathway to achieving carbon budgets and net zero emissions across every single mode of transport by 2050.

Whilst there have been recently published strategiesa to reduce GHG emissions in individual transport modes, the journey to net zero demands that transport as a whole sector moves further, faster. The TDP will take a coordinated, cross-modal approach to deliver the transport sector’s contribution to both carbon budgets and net zero.

Technical measures, such as the need for rapid renewal of the road vehicle fleet with zero emission vehicles, are well understood and will deliver substantial reductions in GHG emissions over the long term. But to deliver the reductions needed now, and set us on a credible pathway to net zero, we also need to consider how we travel and how our goods and services reach us today.

This is needed in parallel to the rapid development and deployment of clean technology. We will work with industry and communities around the country to develop this plan – to make our towns and cities better places to live, help to create new jobs, improve air quality and our health, as well as taking urgent action on climate change. We will also consider how UK technology and innovation can support major changes to the way people and goods move across the UK and ensure the UK benefits from the opportunities decarbonisation presents. Over the coming months we will work closely with those in the transport sector with an interest in how it is decarbonised, its supporting supply chains, and the public and businesses that rely upon it to develop a comprehensive plan of actions.

The Government will publish the final plan in Autumn 2020.


To achieve net zero in transport we will consider ‘in use’ GHG emissions from transport, meaning those emissions generated from the operation and use of the UK’s transport system. In addition, the choices people and businesses make about travel and transport will be considered, including how digital tools could empower consumer choice. Outside of the scope of this plan are the GHG emissions associated with power generation and distribution for transport, and construction of transport infrastructure, noting their consideration in other policy areas.

While we decarbonise, action is being taken to adapt the transport sector, with plans in place to enhance resilience to climate change risks across rail, road, port and aviation industries under the UK’s National Adaptation Programme. Adaptation work is also outside the scope of this plan.

There are Six strategic priorities for the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to deliver a vision of a net zero transport system:

techUK will be working with the Department for Transport on the wider implementation of the plan and to ensure that transport CO2 emission data is easily available, comparable and fully accessible so that people, businesses and places can be informed about the carbon emissions associated with their journeys. This data could enable people and businesses to make more informed decisions about how individuals and goods travel, and ensure they have the tools to understand what they can do to make cleaner, greener journeys.    

The process of estimating greenhouse gas emissions can currently involve using complex models, a range of data sources, and employing significant assumptions. This means that comparisons of different modes on a per-passenger km basis can vary quite widely depending on the data and methods used.

We will be working with members on the opportunity to promote accurate, open transport greenhouse gases emissions data and consistent metrics for journey assessments.   

We will aslo be looking to understand the methodology organisations use to calculate carbon emissions, as well as any comments they have on this.

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