Pathways to Net Zero

Focus of work

Greener Vision (formerly Greener Transport Solutions) is a not for profit organisation dedicated to encouraging the switch to a greener future. Pathways to Net Zero builds on their Manifesto for Decarbonising Transport which concluded that technological solutions will be insufficient to get to net zero and urgent attention must be given to traffic reduction. Pathways to Net Zero aims to raise awareness of the vital importance of traffic reduction as part of the strategy to decarbonise transport and to focus Government attention on what is needed to deliver that reduction.

In 2022, Pathways to Net Zero – Part I concluded that five key principles were needed to inform a successful strategy to deliver traffic reduction:
i) Our whole economy needs to change;
ii) We must reduce energy demand;
iii) We must price properly for carbon;
iv) We must ensure a fair and just transition; and
v) We must strengthen local leadership.

Pathways to Net Zero – Part II aims to influence key decision makers across Whitehall and Westminster and the whole political spectrum, and to communicate to wider audiences. We need to reframe the debate around how to achieve net zero transport. Public discussion needs to move on from a myopic focus on the roll out of electric cars (EVs) to the wider system changes required.

Impact

Transport is the biggest emitting sector of the UK economy. Government policy is underpinned by a technology-led approach. However, there are inherent limitations to this strategy. People have driven more, and further, as the costs of running a car have fallen relative to public transport. Van traffic has risen exponentially as people have increasingly bought products online with the expectation of next day delivery.

There is a clear policy gap. In its assessment of the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, the Committee on Climate Change highlighted “demand measures” as one of the key areas requiring urgent attention, noting that “policies to reduce or reverse traffic growth are underdeveloped”. Pathways to Net Zero aims to raise awareness of the vital importance of traffic reduction, and to be of benefit to decision makers at all levels of government responsible for reducing transport emissions.

Government urgently needs to begin an honest conversation with the public. Greater focus on traffic reduction would deliver significant wider benefits not only in terms of reducing carbon emissions but also in improving local air quality, delivering greater social inclusion and supporting local economies.

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