To highlight the fact that UK road transport emissions will have to be zero by 2050, from today the non-profit, government-linked, 200+ member-backed organisation formerly known as The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), will be known as Zemo Partnership.
The LowCVP was set-up in 2003 to accelerate a sustainable shift to lower carbon, cleaner vehicles and fuels. Now it is embracing the new net zero target and changing its name as a direct and powerful demonstration that the world has changed and that the climate emergency means that ‘low’ is no longer enough.
Eighteen years ago, when LowCVP was formed, road transport emitted 118 Mt of greenhouse gases (GHG) a year. Since then, despite road miles increasing by 20%, overall emissions have fallen 5%, driven by low carbon policy and developing technology. Today, however, transport is the UK’s largest GHG-emitting sector, responsible for about 28% of emissions. ‘Low carbon’ is no longer good enough and a step-change in progress is needed.
In 2019 the UK became the first major economy to pass a law requiring the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Zemo Partnership will build on years of successful collaboration with members, focusing on the aims and ambitions of Government, to ensure that transport is a key enabler of our net zero future.
Speaking at the Partnership’s 2020 virtual annual conference, UK Transport Secretary, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP highlighted the turning point, saying: “We stand on the verge of a new revolution; a green transport revolution, driven by the Partnership… We can achieve nothing without collaboration, without the extraordinary array of businesses, academics, environmental institutions that make up the Partnership.”
Zemo Partnership’s managing director Andy Eastlake says: “For the past 18 years LowCVP has played a pivotal role in helping to deliver the UK’s low emission transport targets. In 2020, over 10% of all new cars sold were ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), surpassing the target set out at the LowCVP’s inception in 2003. But today low is no longer enough and we must reset our targets, roll up our sleeves and focus on the road to zero. Re-born, as Zemo Partnership, we are strengthening our commitment to make change happen faster and accelerate the transport transition to zero emissions.”
John Lippe, director of city engagement, Ford Mobility adds, “The time is right to accelerate the pace of progress on the road to zero. Ford has been a long-time supporter of LowCVP and looks forward to continue working with Zemo Partnership and other members and stakeholders to support the net zero transition in transport.”
Greg Marsden, Professor of transport governance, at the Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds, says, “The urgency of managing the transition to zero emissions means the work of the Partnership has never been more relevant. There are undoubtedly tough policy choices ahead and being clear about the end goal can only help bring people together on that journey.”