House of Commons - Transport Committee
In July 2021, the Government published its Transport Decarbonisation Plan which outlined the pathway for the transport sector to be net zero by 2050 in the UK. It reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to decarbonising all forms of transport including maritime, aviation, road and rail, and stated that this will primarily be achieved by a combination of modal shift and alternative decarbonisation technologies.
The Government has repeatedly stated its position as “technology neutral” regarding the decarbonisation fuel or technology chosen for each transport mode. We were told by witnesses that this has been a barrier to investment in decarbonisation technologies due to the financial risk posed to private companies who invest in infrastructure for a technology that may not be the eventual ‘winner’. The Government should change its policy to one of ‘targeted technology investment’, allowing it the flexibility to make strategic investments in new technologies that offer evidenced solutions to lowering emissions, and giving the private sector more confidence to invest in its own infrastructure.