New transport secretary 'committed to low carbon future'

The UK's new Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, has affirmed his department's commitment to the low carbon vehicle agenda.

Lord Adonis replaced Geoff Hoon in the post on Monday and speaking at his first public engagement in his new role he said he, and Government, are keen to work with business to push forward the necessary transformation of transport.

Speaking at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership's annual conference at London's City Hall, the Secretary of State used his keynote to reiterate Government's five-point strategy for reducing the carbon footprint of road traffic while helping the automotive industry recover from the economic downturn.

He also announced a new initiative that will allow those purchasing vans to compare their fuel efficiency and emissions online, based on data supplied voluntarily by industry.

As well as allowing fleet managers to make more informed procurement decisions, he said, this initiative will put more focus on the environmental performance of vans and thereby provide a greater incentive for manufacturers to improve that performance.

His five points can be distilled to:

  • Supporting the automotive industry and encouraging it to be greener;

  • Ensuring that the UK is a world leader in the design and manufacture of low carbon vehicles;

  • Providing the right consumer incentives to encourage the purchasing of these vehicles;

  • Ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to make them a viable option - such as easy access to charging points for electric vehicles;

  • Building partnerships between the public and private sector and the various tiers of government to ensure that these aims are delivered.

  • "Together they add up to a cleaner future for our environment, a greener future for our motorists and a better future for our automotive industry," said Lord Adonis.

    "There are issues that define every age, shape every generation and climate change is such an issue."

    His speech was part of a raft of events taking place at City Hall to promote green transport.

    These included the LowCVP conference itself as well as demonstrations of electric vehicles, the What Car? Green awards and the culmination of a Brighton to London eco-rally.

    Sam Bond


    | transport


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