The Climate Change Committee (CCC) issued its 2022 Progress report to Parliament on Weds 29th June 2022.
The report is an annual independent assessment of the UK’s progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions on the path to Net Zero, and included more than 300 policy recommendations.
Their findings in this latest report draw attention to the fact that whilst the UK have been busy setting targets, the policies in place to reduce emissions are not adequate and we would fail to meet Net Zero legal commitment.
In the report they go so far as saying, “Substantial investment in roadbuilding should only proceed if it can be justified how it fits within a broader suite of policies that are compatible with the UK’s Net Zero trajectory“.
The CCC have revamped their framework for monitoring the UK’s climate progress, to enable them to closely monitor delivery and identify critical gaps in policy.
Also keep in mind that the National Policy Statement for National Networks (NPS NN) is currently being reviewed, and will need to be updated to reflect things like Net Zero.
What are CCC recommending?
One very important recommendation that was made amongst many others was:
In further developing their thinking on Roads Investment Scheme 3 (RIS3), DfT and National Highways must rigorously assess the emissions impacts of these plans and thoroughly consider alternative approaches that could deliver similar benefits with lower emissions. The strategy should not aim to cater for unconstrained growth in road traffic and should be compatible with Net Zero.
It’s important to remember, the proposed Lower Thames Crossing began in the RIS1 period (2015-2020), it then moved into RIS2 (2020-2025), and now due to all the delays it falls largely within RIS3 (2025-30).
How is this relevant to the proposed LTC?
Just looking at the points raised in that one recommendation alone we can see that the proposed LTC fails.
Consider alternative approaches that could deliver similar benefits with lower emissions
As we have been saying for years now, alternatives to the proposed LTC were never adequately considered. A prime example in this instance would be why adequate consideration has not been given to rail alternatives to encourage modal shift, especially in regard to getting freight onto rail rather than road.
This shows that adequate consideration has not been given to alternatives that could deliver what could in some instances deliver greater benefits with lower emissions.
Should not aim to cater for unconstrained growth in road traffic
Evidence from National Highways own traffic modelling data predicts a 50% increase in cross river traffic if LTC goes ahead. This shows that the proposed crossing caters for considerable growth in road traffic.
Should be compatible with Net Zero
From the info that has been obtained via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request we know that the current estimate on carbon emissions for the proposed LTC is over 5 million tonnes. This is not compatible with Net Zero.
We are very pleased to see that the latest Climate Change Committee report raises the issues we have been voicing for some time now. Our Government have set legal targets, and are talking about reducing emissions, yet we are seeing no action to back up all the talk. Now it’s time to see action, and that would include putting the brakes on the LTC as a matter or urgency before any more public money is wasted.
The evidence just keeps growing and shows just how unfit for purpose the proposed LTC really is, and highlights further that there are better alternatives. We need and deserve better.
More info on the CCC annual report to Parliament – click here
More info on the CCC monitoring framework – click here
Watch the online CCC launch event for the report – click here
Transport Action Network reaction to CCC report – click here
LTC Carbon Emissions – click here