Pathways to Net Zero: Report on a Roundtable Discussion Series

This report by Claire Haigh draws out the key conclusions of the Pathways to Net Zero Roundtable Discussion Series held in March-April 2022

The series is the culmination of a project that began in March 2020 with a Transport Knowledge Hub Decarbonising Transport event which set out to answer the following question:

“What would be a credible and politically deliverable framework for the decarbonisation of transport that will deliver the necessary emissions reductions in the shortest time possible whilst mitigating any negative social impacts?”

The key conclusion is that we are getting nowhere near the scale of change needed to achieve our net zero targets for transport.  Lack of joined-up thinking undermines net zero ambitions.  Spending is skewed towards road building and unsustainable transport policies.  We are still building car dependent housing developments.

Lack of leadership from central government is a major problem for our local leaders trying to deliver on their net zero targets.  The cut in fuel duty was unhelpful to local areas trying to implement car restraint measures because it sends the wrong message to the public.  There is felt to be a strong need to develop a mandate for tough decisions for the long term.

Commenting on the report’s publication, Claire Haigh said:

“The transport sector on its own cannot achieve net zero.  It’s clear that we urgently need a new approach.  We need a solution for the whole economy.   

The current crises we face all demonstrate that we must break our dependency on fossil fuels.  If we are to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, we must price properly for carbon.  This will generate the revenue needed to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. 

Record high fuel and energy prices are a game-changer.  We urge the Chancellor to seize the opportunity to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, shore up our energy security and accelerate the transition to net zero at the same time.

Greener Transport Solutions is urging the Chancellor to introduce a universal carbon allowance for every individual in the UK funded by putting a carbon price on everything we consume.”