A delay in the publication of a government report into how the logistics industry can navigate its transition to a greener economy is preventing private sector investment, according to Logistics UK.
It said the low carbon fuels (LCFs) strategy is now six months late and this, along with concerns over the pace of electric vehicle infrastructure and zero emission freight trials, meant businesses were reluctant to invest without a clear strategy outlining how cost, supply and infrastructure challenges will be addressed.
Kate Jennings, director of policy at Logistics UK, said: “It also remains unclear whether government is viewing LCFs as a transitional tool or if they will have a long-term role to play.”
The association has now written to transport minister Jesse Norman MP urging him to publish the LCF report and calling for a closer partnership between the government and the industry on decarbonisation.
“Industry fully recognises the role it has to play to achieve decarbonisation but sufficient support must be in place to ensure it is achievable and does not push prices up on the shelves,” Jennings added.
Earlier this month, energy expert Professor Patricia Thornley, who authored a DfT advisory paper on low carbon transport fuels that the LCF report will be based on, said the transport industry required flexible and adaptive government strategies to achieve its decarbonisation goals:
“The optimal mix of low carbon fuels versus battery electrification in transport will depend on many different factors, some technological, some supply related, and others linked to the capacity of the UK to generate low carbon electricity,” Thornley said. “We urgently need to better understand and manage the airborne emissions that can still be present with low carbon fuels (including hydrogen).
“That might result in us prioritising different fuels or propulsion systems in different applications or even different parts of the UK.
“Agreeing that prioritisation would allow us to prioritise appropriate next generation of infrastructure to support the UK’s net zero ambitions.”