Traffic carbon reduction not demonstrating value for money

The National Audit Office (NAO) has released a report into efforts to reduce carbon emissions from traffic, highlighting the gap between what is needed and current progress, and the lack of clear strategy.

Over the past decade the Government has spent more than £1bn to incentivise the take-up of ultra-low emission cars. While there has been an increase in the number of ultra-low emission cars and the required charging infrastructure, carbon emissions from cars have not reduced in line with initial expectations according to NAO.

The independent organisation also believes that a lack of an integrated plan with specific milestones for carbon reductions from cars has resulted in a lack of clarity over what value the public money should be delivering. As a result, the departments have not been able to demonstrate value for money from the amounts expended.

In November 2020, the Government announced its ambition to stop the sale of new cars that are powered solely by petrol or diesel by 2030. From 2035, only zero-emission cars can be sold, and by 2050 the government wants almost all cars to emit zero carbon, but to achieve this, and deliver value for money, relevant government departments need a much clearer plan for how they will deliver this societal change, focusing on delivering carbon reductions, not solely increased car sales; and a more targeted approach to addressing potential barriers to take-up across the country the report concludes.

The report examines how well the Government has used public money to support the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and draw lessons for the future. It examines progress in increasing the take-up of ultra-low emission cars through the plug‑in car grant; the development of charging infrastructure using government financial support; and the impact of increasing the sale of ultra-low emission cars on carbon emissions from the UK car fleet so far.

The report offers several potential encouragements, and in particular the report points for a need to convince drivers that ULEV vehicles are a viable alternative and a greater focus on charge-point availability to ensure adequate provision where people do not have a driveway.

Full report here.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories