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Reducing carbon emissions

The Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 as part of an initiative to reduce the UK’s carbon emission by 2050- with goals to build a low-carbon economy by 80% in comparison to the levels in 1990. In order to achieve this target, a system of five-yearly targets were established, outlining the carbon budgets to act as check points in order to maintain regular progress for this long-term commitment. Now, the government has officially passed the fifth carbon budget, where the UK is to reduce its emissions by 57% (when compared to 1990) by 2032.

Currently, the UK is nearly at the end of its second carbon budget, which is aimed at reducing emissions by 29%. In 2018, the UK will enter into the third carbon budget with a goal to reduce 35% of emissions by 2022. The fourth budget is to see 50% of emissions by 2027 before hitting a goal of 57% less emissions in 2032. The EU also has targets in place to reduce emissions by 40% in 2030, but the UK’s remain slightly more ambitious.

As part of these goals, the government has persevered with legislation to ensure various industry sectors contribute to the reduction of green house gas emissions- with the freight industry being urged to take steps towards sustainable logistics. The UK already has various schemes, both planned and existing, in place to control the emissions- such as the London Low Emissions Zone (LEZ),that is soon to be the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019/20.

Likewise, the FTA has established the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme as a means of keeping track of the carbon emissions generated by logistics service providers and users. The scheme was introduced in 2009 and is free to join, running on a voluntary basis. It is aimed to record, report and reduce carbon emissions produced by commercial vehicles. A report is produced after measuring fuel usage and business activity of the members’ commercial vehicles. Being a part of this scheme not only helps monitor the logistics industry’s carbon footprint, but also demonstrates a company’s green credentials and willingness to contribute to carbon reduction. There are over 125 companies on the scheme at present, with over 88,000 commercial vehicles registered.