Industry leaders urge government to cut duty on low carbon liquid fuels

Business leaders and environmental campaigners have called for greater support for organisations seeking sustainable alternatives to diesel fuel.

Industry leaders urge government to cut duty on low carbon liquid fuels

More than 30 industry leaders and environmental campaigners have today urged ministers to cut duties on clean replacements for diesel.

With the UK transport sector responsible for 27% of all emissions last year, industry leaders have accused the Government of failing to act to support businesses hoping to cut their carbon footprint, highlighting the potential for advanced biofuels to cut emissions by up to 90%.

In a letter to Transport Minister Jesse Norman, they cite the “urgent imperative” to reduce harmful pollutants, with 1 in 20 deaths across the UK directly attributed to poor air quality.

Price parity

Led by one of the UK’s largest sustainable fuels suppliers, Green Biofuels, the letter argues price reductions in renewable diesel fuel can be achieved at no cost to the taxpayer, with consumers encouraged to switch to sustainable alternatives by creating price parity with diesel.

Signatories of support come from leading figures in firms such as hauliers JW Suckling Transport Limited and infrastructure contractor Skanska, as well as from clean air campaigner and CEO of Enjoy the Air, Kate Barnard, and environmental campaigner, Dominic Dyer.

They write: “While some incentives do exist in the UK, these do not achieve price parity with diesel. As such, we believe your department, in collaboration with the Treasury, should look at reducing duties and creating tax incentives to catalyse the switch to renewable diesel.”

An interim measure

Despite an increased focus on rolling out electric vehicles, recent reports have shown that fewer than 5% of the UK’s required electric vehicle charging capacity currently exists. Industry leaders argue that government support cleaner fuels while EV infrastructure is developed.

Julian Keites, director of sustainability at Green Biofuels, said: “Electric vehicles are not the be all and end all of sustainable transport, and scrapping existing vehicles is not a green solution. 

“Sustainable alternatives to harmful diesel fuels – used particularly in heavy goods vehicles, trains and maritime – have a vital role to play in rapidly cutting greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.

“The collaboration of support shown by uniting these diverse range of business leaders and environmental campaigners demonstrates the positive and practical role advanced biofuels play in the future of the UK’s transition to net-zero.”

Dominic Dyer, environmental campaigner, said: “Rather than rushing to yet more reliance on oil and gas, the government urgently needs to listen to industry figures who are helping to lead the UK’s transition to net-zero through sustainable fuels.

“This unified call for action clearly demonstrates the strong determination of both business leaders and everyday consumers who want to do the right thing for the environment.  A duty cut for clean fuels, paid for by increased duty on dirty diesel, is essential if the UK is to cut greenhouse gases quickly.”