Mark’s EU Week for Transport
UKTiE have been pushing for transport, across the modes, and the need to decarbonise the transport sector, to be explicitly included on the agenda for the G7 and COP26, and we are therefore delighted that our efforts were welcomed by the Secretary of State The Rt Hon. Grant Shapps MP, and that our objectives were reflected in the final G7 communique.
Transport’s contribution to society, the economy, and its potential to contribute to decarbonisation, is often overlooked, despite investing in many of the technologies of the future, including renewable fuels, hydrogen and battery technologies and digital, and the fact that many manufacturers and operators are key exporters and inward investors.
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport welcomed UKTiE’s joint initiative, with our rail member RIA, to promote the role of transport at the G7, to make sure transport across the modes gets the attention it needs to help the UK, Europe and the world decarbonise by 2050 (see more on that below).
The Secretary of State, DfT and the UK Government should be congratulated for ensuring the communique agreed at the G7 did include important commitments on transport decabonisation across all the modes and recognised the important role to be played by public transport, shared mobility, cycling and walking.
The Secretary of State is now focused on developing an ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport by 2050, and the UK’s plan will include a phase out on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035 and investing in freight trials to pioneer hydrogen and other zero emission lorries. The UK has also established a Jet Zero Council, with the aim of flying the world’s first ever zero carbon flight over the Atlantic and will be working to implement the world’s first National Action Plan for the Maritime sector.
With transport now the most significant carbon-emitting sector in the UK, and across the EU and much of the world, it’s vital we now continue our work with the Secretary of State and our European and global partners to ensure COP26 turns those commitments into tangible actions.
We’ll be hosting a special pre COP26 event on Friday 24 September, with our European and global partners to showcase technological leadership, share best practice, and build momentum to ensure the transport sector can be a solution not a climate change problem. Do let us know if you wish to join us, sponsor or share your technological solutions or best practice.
1. TRAN Committee this week
This week, the TRAN Committee will have a busy agenda on its hands. On June 17th, the Committee will consider the amendments to the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy report, which the Committee is leading on. The TRAN Committee will also host a Workshop on “The aviation and maritime sectors and the EU-ETS system: perspectives and challenges”. This workshop comes ahead of the ‘Fit for 55’ package on 14 July in which the European Commission will propose extending the ETS to include the aviation and maritime sectors.
2. European Commission affirms July 1 reopening for international travel
The European Commission has reaffirmed last week its commitment to a resumption of international travel within the EU from July 1. Speaking to airline leaders, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said: “We’re trying to implement a lifting of restrictions for July 1. We have agreed a document, the Digital Covid Certificate, and it will be recognised in every member state. It will become binding from July. Reynders made no mention of travel to and from the UK, but mutual recognition by the EU of the UK NHS vaccination certificate and by the UK of the EU Digital Covid Certificate is expected.
3. Secretary of State for Transport Shapps responds to UKTiE and RIA letter
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has responded to an UKTiE and RIA letter from 14 May on the UK Presidency of the G7 and the forthcoming G7 Leaders’ Summit in June. The Secretary of State thanked UKTiE and RIA for our “interest and constructive engagement with the Department for Transport”. On decarbonising the transport sector, he adds ” there is a huge amount of work ongoing towards decarbonising the Transport sector. In the UK, we are developing an ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport by 2050″. The Secretary of State adds that “Transport is at the forefront of our preparations for COP26, which is an important milestone for my Department and indeed the whole of Government’s plans to decarbonise and achieve net zero by 2050.”
4. G7 communique touches on transport sector
Last week, the UK-hosted G7 was convened in Cornwall. Following the conclusion of the meeting, leaders issues a joint communique titled ‘Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better’. The statement included the following on the transport sector: “in our transport sectors, we commit to sustainable, decarbonised mobility and to scaling up zero emission vehicle technologies, including buses, trains, shipping and aviation. We recognise that this will require dramatically increasing the pace of the global decarbonisation of the road transport sector throughout the 2020s, and beyond. This includes support for accelerating the roll out of necessary infrastructure, such as charging and fueling infrastructure and enhancing the offer of more sustainable transport modes, including public transport, shared mobility, cycling and walking. We commit to accelerate the transition away from new sales of diesel and petrol cars to promote the uptake of zero emission vehicles.”
5. UKTiE has also put together the latest timetable of key transport and supply chain developments in Europe. We will keep this up to date as the process develops:
- 16-17 June 2021: Next TRAN Committee meeting.
- 21 June 2021: Next ENVI Committee meeting.
- 23-24 June 2021: European Parliament Plenary session – draft agenda.
- 14 July 2021: Fit for 55 Package published.
- 24 September 2021: UKTiE pre-COP26 event.
- 1-12 November 2021: COP 26.
UK Transport in Europe (UKTiE)