BRC calls on government to accelerate green tech

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) urged the government to encourage the take up of green technologies and reduce emissions from goods vehicles.

In a letter to the transport secretary, the trade association said retailers are making progress to address the issue, but that without government intervention to generate faster adoption of green vehicles, it would be impossible for the industry to reach its 2045 net zero target.

A new report by BearingPoint, commissioned by the BRC and DP World, found that 88 per cent of retailers operating in-house fleets have some type of green fuelled vehicle, but only one quarter of these were operating them on a large scale.

The BRC warned that while electric vehicle solutions exist for Light Goods Vehicles, further technological advances would be needed before Heavy Goods Vehicles offer practical alternatives.

The association has made three recommendations to the secretary of state for transport:

Financial Incentives: To encourage the uptake of green fuelled vehicles. For instance, a 0 per cent VAT rate for new green vehicle purchases would greatly boost their uptake by businesses.

Improved Infrastructure: Accelerated roll out of public charging and fuelling infrastructure for green vehicles, particularly along major trunk roads.

Legislation: The Government should legislate timescales for phasing out diesel and petrol fuelled Heavy Goods Vehicles.

“Retailers and fleet operators are making decisions in the next few years about the vehicles that will be operating in 2030 and beyond,” said Peter Andrews, head of sustainability, BRC. “This is why it’s so important to make sure that green fuel options are not only available, but invested in.”

Andrews said that the government has a key role to play, not just in encouraging the use of these technologies, but also in supporting further research and development.

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