Decarbonising transport “is about Powers, Pounds and People”

Delegates at this year’s Transport+Energy Forum in Birmingham have been told how leading a rapid transition to local net zero with clean air communities across the UK is all about three Ps.

Jason Torrance, Assistant Chief Executive of UK100, a network of local leaders who have pledged to lead a rapid transition to Net Zero with Clean Air, used his address at the event to explain that joining the transport and energy sectors can deliver huge opportunities.

“We of course need the right powers,” he said. ” That, I would suggest, requires Net Zero to be prioritised in our planning system, housing, wider, wider energy. This is powers – regulations that need to free up the ability and the requirement to deliver rather than holding back.

“We need to pounds. Too often local authorities are stymied requirements around competitive funding processes, where your local authorities have to spend as much as £30,000 applying for a single capacity of central government. As an example, it’s estimated that the last two years, councils across England spent around 8.4 million pounds in unsuccessful and failed bids. That is a crazy system that needs to change, with requirements to prioritise net zero with clean air for longer term funding that enables longer term strategic planning.

“And of course, people. We there’s been opposition to schemes up and down the country – clean air zones, ULEZ.. But I would just guess looking back over the years, this is just the tip of the iceberg. But we know lots of fantastic delivery is happening around the country. We know some fantastic things like Bristol City lead with a delivery of over the town’s investment, West Midlands transforming the region into the heart of the green Industrial Revolution, and of course I mentioned in London with the ambitious Ultra Low Emission zone and other initiatives and their commitments deliver net zero carbon emissions in 2030.”

He concluded with a call to action saying “They can only afford to do that in partnership with you guys in this room”, adding that “with a planning system, with funding, and in a way that people have brought with them – this ambition is out there.”

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