A Decarbonisation Strategy for the North of England, which sets out a near-zero carbon emissions target from surface transport by 2045, has been launched for consultation.
Developed by Transport for the North (TfN), the Draft Decarbonisation Strategy is reported to be the first regional strategy of this type to have been produced.
It highlights the ambitions of the North of England in tackling carbon emissions, with the region aiming to ‘go beyond national policy and meet targets much sooner.’
Tim Wood, Interim Chief Executive at Transport for the North, commented: “Reducing carbon across our region’s transport network is an essential part of tackling the climate emergency – one of the greatest challenges of our time.
“We’re thrilled to be consulting a strategy for the whole region that outlines how rapid progress can be made and how the North can lead the UK in slashing carbon emissions.
“Surface transport is the largest contributing sector to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, accounting for 22% of all emissions in 2019.
“The majority of this is from road transport, so there is a clear and urgent need to decarbonise our vehicles and roads over the coming years.
“But we must also take action on our rail network, with a rolling programme of electrification, and encourage a shift to more sustainable forms of transport and construction practices too.”
Among the potential actions and areas of focus the strategy considers are:
- Zero emission vehicles, including cars, HGVs and buses, with a comprehensive network of charging facilities to support their wider use.
- The decarbonisation of the rail network through electrification.
- The use of hydrogen and alternative fuel vehicles.
- Encouraging modal shift towards more sustainable ways of travelling, such as public transport and active travel.
- Opportunities for decarbonisation in the freight industry.
- Carbon reduction when projects are built, as well as carbon capture.
- How Transport for the North’s four Future Travel Scenarios could present challenges and opportunities for decarbonising transport.
The final Decarbonisation Strategy will be adopted by the TfN Board this autumn and submitted to the Government as statutory advice on behalf of the region.
It will form the blueprint for green transport investment in the North for the coming decades.
Mr Wood continued: “Our Decarbonisation Strategy is a vital piece of work in moving the North of England towards the ambitious goal of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045.
“Using data and insights, alongside predictions and modelling analysis, the strategy sets out the challenges and opportunities ahead, providing a clear trajectory that will not only lower emissions, but also enhance connectivity for our region’s people and businesses.
“We urge everyone to get involved in this vital work and provide their views to the consultation, helping to shape future transport networks that are not only efficient and reliable, but are sustainable too.”
The consultation is open until 12pm on 31st of August 2021.
More information about the consultation and how to take part is available on the TfN website.