UK Government announces new forum to drive innovation in freight decarbonisation
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The Freight Energy Forum is part of the Future of Freight plan, which itself aims to support the rail, road, air, maritime, and warehousing sector to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
They will identify and examine potential solutions for reducing emissions and creating a plan for future clean energy infrastructure for the industry, including the supply and demand of energy, types of energy infrastructure needed, and locations for energy and infrastructure.
The forum will be technology-neutral, meaning that it will look at a range of potential solutions for the freight sector and not prioritise one type of technology.
The initiative will be chaired by the Department for Transport officials, technology-neutral, and involve senior representatives from industry and government, meeting quarterly to produce several items, such as a roadmap plan, a review of regulatory barriers, actions to address regional and local differences, and identifying solutions for reducing emissions immediately.
“We recognise that the transition to clean fuels is one of the biggest challenges facing the freight sector and we are committed to delivering a strong future for the sector that will help create good long-term jobs,” said Transport Minister Richard Holden. „Clean energy supplies and infrastructure is critical to the drive for a cleaner freight sector and the Freight Energy Forum will address those longer-term challenges across the whole industry.”
Chris Ashley, Head of Policy at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), also expressed support for the forum:
“The RHA strongly welcomes the Freight Energy Forum. The manufacture of electric and hydrogen lorries is only one part of the jigsaw that gets these vehicles on our roads quickly. The other part is the infrastructure needed to power them,” he said. „Our members are keen to start operating these vehicles as soon as possible yet face considerable cost headwinds. Public investment in the UK’s energy capability is, therefore, essential to ensure a viable and reliable energy supply exists. We look forward to scoping out how this is achieved so that all parts of the UK economy can be serviced by our members.”