Ideal Queen’s Speech: Must include ‘pledge to reduce transport emissions’
Ahead of next week’s Queen’s Speech, Calor Gas explains why a bill to improve the UK’s air quality is desperately needed.
“My Government will introduce a bill to… make Britain’s air quality the best in Europe by drastically reducing harmful emissions from road transport.”
This follows a landmark decision by the Supreme Court last month, in favour of environmental law organisation Client Earth, forcing the Environment Secretary to submit a new National Air Quality Plan to the European Commission by the end of the year.
This will require an urgent assessment of the quick and cost effective measures policy makers can implement to bring down harmful emissions from transport.
According to Paul Blacklock, head of corporate affairs and strategy at Calor Gas, Liquid Petroleum Autogas could “significantly reduce harmful emissions from transport quickly and at the lowest cost.
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He adds: “We call on the new government to sensibly look at options that can make an immediate and cost-effective impact such as government support for LPG. This support would include removing the fuel duty escalator on LPG, support for engine conversions and the promotion of LPG at national and local level for public sector fleets.
“LPG is cleaner and cheaper than diesel and petrol, the infrastructure is already in place and with the right level of support, more drivers can be encouraged to make the switch. This needn’t contradict current policy to support electric vehicles, but if progress on air quality is to be made quickly, a transitional and cost-effective pathway to zero-emission vehicles must be adopted”.
Automotive LPG has been in wide use for UK drivers since before 2000. At the moment around 150,000 drivers benefit from using this cleaner and affordable fuel from 1,400 refuelling sites across the UK. There is potential to increase the shift from petrol and diesel to LPG as the infrastructure is already in place and can be expanded at no cost to the taxpayer if demand can be further incentivised.
The trade association, UKLPG, recently commissioned an independent testing facility, Millbrook Proving Ground, to undertake an analysis of LPG’s use as an automotive fuel over the next 35 years to 2050. Its findings show clear environmental returns.
Calor Gas will start importing biopropane into the UK in 2016. It will be available as a drop-in LPG replacement and offers a carbon saving of about 90% to petrol and diesel. The Department for Transport recently awarded a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation for biopropane of 1.75 RTFCs per kilogramme to incentivise its adoption.
Automotive LPG combined with the potential of biopropane merits serious consideration by policy makers as part of the solution to meeting the European Commission’s air quality requirements.
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