Published on: 10th March 2022 by Greener Transport Solutions.
  • Reduce car kms in the UK by a quarter to stay on track for net zero
  • Average price of petrol hits above £1.55 per litre for first time
  • Half the world’s population highly vulnerable to climate change impacts
  • Global CO2 emissions linked to energy climbed 6 per cent last year
  • Transport accounts for 37% of global CO2 emissions

Greener Transport Solutions is calling for an urgent re-think on the UK’s transport decarbonisation strategy as it publishes a new report: PATHWAYS TO NET ZERO: Building a framework for systemic change.

The report concludes that technological solutions will be insufficient to hit net zero in the UK.  Urgent focus must now be given to traffic reduction.

Transport is the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions and biggest polluting sector of the UK economy.  Transport emissions in the UK are only 3% lower than they were in 1990.  People have driven more and in larger vehicles as engines have become more efficient.

It is estimated that we must reduce traffic on our roads by approximately a quarter by 2030 to stay on track for net zero. The Major of London has pledged 27% reduction in car kms by 2030. The Scottish Government has pledged a 20% reduction.  Research for the Green Alliance shows that a reduction in car kms of 20-27% by 2030 will be needed.

Reducing car dependency will also be essential to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.  UK fuel prices are hitting new records.  Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average cost of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts on Sunday was 155.62p, above £1.55 per litre for the first time.  The Resolution Foundation says the dramatic increase in global oil and gas prices will push UK inflation above 8% this spring and average incomes across Britain are set to fall by 4% in the coming financial year.

The IPCC calculates that 3.3-3.6 billion people, nearly half the world’s population, are already “highly vulnerable” to the impacts of climate change.  Its latest report (published 28.2.22) has been described as ‘an atlas of human suffering’.  Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must halve by 2030 to stay within 1.5C.

However, after the plunge caused by lockdowns GHG have bounced back and are set to rise strongly this year.  Latest figures from the IEA show that carbon emissions rose to their highest levels in history in 2021 after the world rebounded from the Covid pandemic with heavy reliance on fossil fuels.  CO2 emissions linked to energy climbed 6 per cent last year. Transport has the highest reliance on fossil fuels of any sector and accounts for 37% of CO2 emissions from end‐use sectors.

Claire Haigh, Founder & CEO of Greener Transport Solutions commented:

“At a time of rising geopolitical uncertainty, insecurity of supplies, and escalating fuel and gas prices, it becomes more critical than ever to design policies in a way that avoids unintended consequences and ensures a fair and just transition to net zero.

“We need a massive shift to clean technologies, but we must also reduce energy demand. Energy demand reduction supports the three key goals of energy policy: security, affordability and sustainability. 

“Our climate is heating up at great speed.  We have less than a decade to get on track.  We cannot rely on technological solutions alone. Traffic reduction will also play a critical role.”


Notes to Editors: 

  1. About Pathways to Net Zero

The Foundation for Integrated Transport is providing grant funding to support Greener Transport Solutions in developing recommendations that will deliver the traffic reduction needed to achieve net zero targets for transport.

The Pathways to Net Zero programme begins with a series of roundtable discussions this month, followed by a wider consultation over the summer and a final report in the autumn. The programme is being overseen by the Greener Transport Council of leading academics and experts.

This report published today PATHWAYS TO NET ZERO: Building a framework for systemic change sets out the key themes and questions for discussion.  The central proposition is that we need a whole systems transition to net zero. This will require a paradigm shift in how we think about decarbonising transport.

For more information about the roundtable discussions visit:

  1. About Greener Transport Solutions

Greener Transport Solutions is a not for profit organization dedicated to the decarbonisation of transport.  We aim to transform our communities into cleaner, greener, less congested and more prosperous places to live and work, where greener transport is the affordable and desirable choice for everyone

About the Author

This post was written by Greener Transport Solutions.