Government must “encourage” retailers to use green vehicles, BRC says

BRC climate action roadmap
The BRC’s letter makes three recommendations to the Secretary of State for Transport
// BRC calls on Secretary of State for Transport to encourage the use of green technologies
// The BRC said it will “not be possible for the industry to reach its 2035 net zero target” without government intervention
// Vehicle carbon emissions must reach net zero by 2035, BRC says

The BRC has called on the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, to encourage the utilisation of green technologies while reducing emissions from goods vehicles.

Although retailers are “making progress” to address this issue, the BRC said it will “not be possible for the industry to reach its 2035 net zero target” without government intervention to generate faster adoption of green vehicles.

According to a new report by BearingPoint, commissioned by the BRC and DP World as part of the BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap, a total of 88 per cent of retailers operating in-house fleets have some type of green fuelled vehicle.


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However, only one quarter of these were operating them on a large scale.

While electric vehicle solutions already exist for Light Goods Vehicles, further technological advances will be needed before electric Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) offer practical alternatives.

The BRC’s letter makes three recommendations to the Secretary of State for Transport:

• Financial Incentives: To encourage the uptake of green fuelled vehicles. For instance, a 0% VAT rate for new green vehicle purchases would greatly boost their uptake by businesses.

• Improved Infrastructure: Accelerated roll out of public charging and fuelling infrastructure for green vehicles, particularly along major trunk roads.

• Legislation: The government should legislate timescales for phasing out diesel and petrol fuelled Heavy Goods Vehicles.

The BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap aims to ensure the retailers and their supply chains are net zero by 2040 in order to play their part in limiting global temperature rise.

To achieve this, vehicle carbon emissions must reach net zero by 2035.

“Retailers and fleet operators are making decisions in the next few years about the vehicles that will be operating in 2030 and beyond,” BRC head of sustainability Peter Andrews said.

“This is why it’s so important to make sure that green fuel options are not only available, but invested in.

“Government has a key part to play, not just in encouraging the take up of these technologies, but also in supporting further research and development in this area.

“If the UK is to become a world leader in the transition to net zero, we need action today.”

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