Government launches call for evidence on offsetting carbon emissions
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has today launched a call for evidence on offsetting carbon emissions produced by modes of transport
Transport accounted for approximately one-third of UK carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, and the government is inviting views on whether companies selling travel tickets including for flights, ferries, trains and coach travel should have to offer additional carbon offsets so that consumers can choose to compensate when they book.
This call for evidence will seek more evidence on the public awareness of carbon emissions caused by transport journeys and the various options available to offset them.
“An offsetting scheme could help inform travellers about how much carbon their journey produces and provide the opportunity to fund schemes, like tree planting, to compensate for those emissions.
“However, our focus remains to target the development, production and uptake of zero-emission technology across all modes of transport.”
Carbon offsetting can enable individuals and organisations to compensate for the carbon emissions produced from their journeys, by paying for projects that reduce an equivalent amount of emissions. These emissions savings are generated through a wide variety of projects, which can range from planting trees to installing solar panels.
Among the issues the call for evidence will address are concerns that some consumers may not trust that their payments are supporting worthwhile, quality projects. It will also look at consumer awareness around the carbon emissions from different journey types, what carbon offsets are available or how they might offset the emissions from their journey.
The government also aims to set up a stronger and more attractive market for domestic carbon offsetting that will encourage more businesses to support cost-effective emission reductions.
In gaining valuable insights from the public and industry, the call for evidence aims to help consumers make more informed decisions by providing more information about the environmental impact of their travel options.
This is the latest move in the government’s drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from across the economy, including from the transport sector, following the Prime Minister’s historic commitment to make the UK the first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. With transport accounting for an increasingly large share of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, as emissions from other sectors are reduced, government has recognised the need to increase our ambition and step up the pace of progress.
That is why we have been developing our plans to drive down carbon emissions across transport, including in last year’s Road to Zero Strategy, our recently published Aviation Green Paper and Maritime 2050 strategy and Clean Maritime Plan. Later this year, we will also publish an ambitious Aviation Strategy which will map out our approach to ensure the sector plays its part in tackling climate change.