The UK Government and Parliament have adopted the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) recommendation to target net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases in the UK by 2050.
The Climate Change Act (2008) requires the CCC to provide advice to the Government about the appropriate level for each carbon budget (sequential five-year caps on GHGs) on the path to the long-term target. To date, in line with advice from the Committee, five carbon budgets have been legislated covering the period out to 2032.
The Committee must provide advice on the level of the sixth carbon budget (covering the period from 2033-37) before the end of 2020. To aid with this, the CCC called for evidence relating to emissions. The advice will be published in September 2020. This advice will set the path to net-zero GHG emissions for the UK, as the first time a carbon budget is set in law following that commitment.
Over 700 members responded to the CIHT climate change survey which informed the response.
Key points from CIHT response:
- Short journeys, under five miles, account for a total of 43% of all journeys in England. Of these, 68% are made by motor vehicles. It would be possible for a high percentage of these trips to be taken by public transport and active travel, providing the right policies and measures are put in place.
- CIHT calls for longer term funding certainty for the local road network. This would allow maintenance to facilitate active travel, supporting decarbonisation agenda whilst improving peoples’ health.
- CIHT calls for decarbonising transport using spatial planning. CIHT with RTPI and TPS produced Better Planning, Better Transport, Better Places which highlights the need for integration of planning and transport to direct development locations that are served by sustainable transport links.
- CIHT calls for Investment in public transport, particularly bus services which have suffered from funding cuts in recent years.
- A National Transport Strategy for England should clearly set out the government’s ambitions for transport both in the short- and long term. It should prioritise sustainable transport modes, e.g. walking and cycling, public transport, and funding and investment should consistent to increase uptake of those modes.
- Legislation of autonomous vehicles should be carefully considered to manage congestion as a preventive measure.