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At COP26’s transportation day, the UK government has made a range of announcements touting its credentials as a world leader when it comes to the environment.

The UK’s Department for Transport has announced that all heavy goods vehicles will be zero-emission by 2040.

This means that the UK should become the first country to phase out new, non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles weight 26 tonnes and under by 2035 and all heavier goods vehicles by 2040.

The government has also announced that a working group including ministers, foreign powers, and industry leaders is planning how to get to 100% zero-emission new car and van sales by 2040 or earlier. The group includes six major automakers: GM, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, BYD, Volvo, and Jaguar Land Rover.

It also includes countries such as El Salvador and New Zealand and companies with large commercial fleets such as Sainsbury’s. A range of developing economies including India, Ghana, Kenya, Paraguay, Rwanda, and Turkey are also working to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

The government also unveiled a new design for EV chargepoints which it hopes will become “as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus or black cab.”

“Designed together with the Royal College of Art and PA Consulting, the concept prioritises inclusivity and ease of use, designed with consumers, local government, accessibility groups and industry,” reads a statement.

Ev Charge Point
The “iconic” new EV chargpoint design

“From our roads to the skies, the transition to zero-emission transport has reached a tipping point,” says UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“We know that transport plays a key role saving the planet from warming above 1.5°C, which is why this is the COP that will kick start our ambition for zero-emission aviation and why I’m proud to be uniting world leaders to tackle climate change – creating new opportunities for clean growth, green jobs and improved air quality right across the globe.

“To support the transition to EVs, it’s integral that we have the infrastructure to support it. My vision is for the UK to have one of the best EV infrastructure networks in the world, with excellent British design at its heart.”

The World Bank has also announced a new $200 million Global Facility to Decarbonise Transport fund. This should help fund projects over the next 10 years to support the decarbonisation of road transport in emerging markets and developing economies in the Global South. The UK government has announced a £4 million initial contribution to the fund.

18 countries, representing more than 40% of global aviation emissions are committing to working to meet “ambitious” aviation decarbonisation targets as part of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition.

19 governments have also stated their intent to support “green shipping corridors” – basically zero-emissions shipping routes between two ports. 28 offshore wind industry stakeholders have also committed to working towards zero-emission operations in the North Sea by 2025.

Top image: Number 10.

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