COP26: what fleets and equipment manufacturers want to see

Figures from fleets, builders and the transport industry have expressed their hopes for the COP26 climate conference as world leaders gather in Glasgow to discuss measures to limit global warming.

As road transport is responsible for around 20% of carbon emissions in the European Union, the need to decarbonise vehicles is at the forefront of decision-makers in the fleet and the automotive industry.

Reduce energy consumption

Claire Haigh, Founder and CEO of Greener Transport Solutions, said: “Transportation is the world’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. A radical change is necessary if we are to decarbonise ourselves in time. We cannot rely on clean technologies alone, behavior change will also play a vital role. Tariffs and taxes should encourage low-carbon travel choices.

“The success of COP26 will be determined by the commitments made for this decade. We need to connect to the root cause of climate change, which is fundamentally our excessive energy consumption and the price of the fossil fuels that produce that energy. a predictable and rising carbon price is needed.

UPS: balancing business and environment

At global logistics giant UPS, Peter Harris, vice president, International Sustainability, called on politicians at Cop26 to balance green goals with business goals, with the ideal outcome of the conference being: “A global consensus on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which recognizes the co-dependence of business and the environment and encourages innovation as a key solution provider. “

Fleet action taken

LeasePlan’s new white paper, “On the road to COP26: How corporate fleets can tackle climate change,” highlights the fact that six out of ten new cars sold in Europe are company cars. Electrifying these cars would not only clean up fleet emissions, but also transform vehicles entering the used car market in three or four years.

Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan, said: “Business leaders must take full responsibility for tackling climate change, and switching to an electric fleet is one of the easiest and most efficient ways. to have an impact. We have a small window of time to prevent the worst effects of climate change, and we owe it to our children and grandchildren not to waste this opportunity. ”

Clean up the fleet supply chain

The UK’s second fleet, the BT Group, set its first carbon reduction target in 1992 and in 2008 committed to reducing the carbon emissions intensity of its operations by 80% by 2020. He had achieved his goal four years earlier. The company now plans to be zero carbon by 2030, which means a quick and difficult transition of its 33,000 vehicles to electricity. That total includes 27,000 vehicles operated by Openreach, which aims to switch one-third of its vehicles to electric (and powered by renewable electricity), by 2025, with the majority of its fleet becoming battery-powered. ‘by 2030.

BT Group also expects its suppliers to follow its example by reducing their own carbon emissions.

“We have introduced a sustainability contract clause in key contracts which oblige the supplier to reduce its carbon emissions over the term of the contract,” said a spokesperson for BT Group.

New CO2 targets

In July, the European Commission proposed that by 2030, CO2 emissions from new cars would be 55% lower than 2021 levels, but research by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) found 10 countries in the European Union do not even have an electric vehicle charger for every 100 kilometers of key roads, compared to the Netherlands, which has 47.5 charging stations per 100 km of road (the most large number in the EU). Not surprisingly, nine of these 10 countries have an electric car market share of less than 3%.

“Consumers will not be able to switch to zero emission vehicles if there are not enough recharging and refueling stations along the roads they drive,” said Eric-Mark Huitema, CEO of ACEA.

“For example, if the citizens of Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Romania still have to travel 200 km or more to find a charger, we cannot expect them to be ready to buy an electric car.

VE infrastructure

Even in Western Europe, recent research indicates that drivers are still worried and concerned about the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, said John Lippe, director, City Engagement, Ford Mobility.

“If there’s one thing I would like to see from COP26, it’s that everyone involved – governments, public bodies, energy suppliers and automakers – are tackling it together to ensure that this segment of the world. transport sector is able to progress essential to reduce CO2 emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement, ”said Lippe.

Image: Shutterstock

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