Rachel has welcomed the launch of the Government’s ground-breaking transport decarbonisation plan to create cleaner air, healthier communities and tens of thousands of new green jobs.

With just months to go until major climate summit COP26, the plan provides a world-leading ‘greenprint’ to cut emissions from our seas and skies, roads and railways, setting out a credible pathway for the whole transport sector to reach net zero by 2050.

As Minister for the Future of Transport and Decarbonisation, Rachel worked intensively on the revolutionary Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which was announced by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, today (July 14th).

As part of this vision, the government is today announcing its intention to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, subject to consultation – combined with the 2035 phase out date for polluting cars and vans, this represents a world-leading pledge to phase out all polluting road vehicles within the next two decades.

The consultation proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes – or earlier if a faster transition seems feasible.

Cleaner transport will create and support highly skilled jobs, with the production of zero emission road vehicles alone having the potential to support tens of thousands of jobs worth up to £9.7 billion GVA in 2050. This will also ensure the air we breathe is cleaner in our communities and reduce time spent in traffic.

With billions of pounds in investment already pledged including £2 billion in cycling and walking and £2.8 billion to support industry and motorists to make the switch to cleaner vehicles, the Transport Decarbonisation Plan also sets out how the Government will improve public transport and increase support for active travel to make them the natural first choice for all who can take them – creating a net zero rail network by 2050, ensuring net zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040 and leading the transition to green shipping.

Aviation has a vital role to play in tackling climate change, which is why the government is today also launching the Jet zero consultation, which commits the sector to a net zero emissions target by 2050 and sets out an action plan for how it can be achieved – ensuring everyone can continue to fly for holidays, visits to family and business without contributing to climate change.

Reflecting the fact the UK aviation industry is already leading the way in seeking to reduce emissions from flights, the consultation proposes an earlier target for UK domestic aviation to reach net zero by 2040, as well as for all airport operations in England to be zero emission by 2040.

Rachel said:

“Once again the UK is leading the way in the fight against climate change following the publication of our world first Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

“I hear from my constituents all the time who ask what this Government is doing to protect our planet for future generations, and the answer is we’re going further and faster than the world’s most advanced countries.

“This plan is not about stopping people doing things: it’s about doing the same things differently. We will still fly on holiday, but in more efficient aircraft, using sustainable fuel. We will still drive on improved roads, but increasingly in zero emission cars. We will still have new development, but it won’t force us into high-carbon lifestyles.

“It’s also our ambition, as set out in the plan, to make public transport, cycling and walking the natural first choice for all who can take it. I want to see Redditch and Worcestershire benefit from the investment we’ll see in public transport, so I’ll be working with our County Council to secure investment to ensure Redditch builds back better from the impact of this pandemic.”