The clean transport market: making travel less carbon intensive and more sustainable

Clean transport refers to the low-carbon movement of people or goods by air, land and sea.

Clear government policies and good transport infrastructure play a vital role in supporting the shift towards low-carbon-travel modes, and in helping citizens to make informed decisions about how they travel or move goods.

Exports of UK services play an important part in helping policymakers in other countries formulate low-carbon strategies. The UK is home to an internationally renowned consultancy sector, with firms specialising in the provision of strategic advice to support both transport decarbonisation and urban planning.

The UK is also at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technology, having one of the world’s largest clusters of companies developing zero emissions components for electric vehicles.

In 2019, the UK was the third largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in Europe and is a global leader in their development and manufacture.

The UK has the largest number of leading-edge automotive engineering companies which are pioneering zero emission powertrains.

This pursuit of innovation is driving large-scale domestic investment into UK transport industries, enabling their growth and allowing them to take advantage of new export markets.

Export activity that is also benefitting from the UK having its own independent trade policy for the first time in 50 years, and the drive to have 80% of all international trade covered by free trade agreements (FTAs) inside three years.

Alongside these trade policy mechanisms, the potential to secure exports is also being developed through Government to Government (G2G) dialogues, Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded programmes, and specialist knowledge, to shape new markets and create demand for UK green transport-related solutions around the world.

Success story: Cairo Monorail project

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In August 2019, an Alstom-led consortium signed a €2.7 billion contract to design, construct, operate and maintain the first two monorail lines in the country.

On 25 June 2021, former DIT Secretary of State, Liz Truss MP, visited the Alstrom facility in Derby to see the first Alstom Innovia™ 300 monorail, completed on time and ready for delivery.

For the full story, visit the success stories page.

Transport and the Green Industrial Revolution

The UK Government has set out its ambitious Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution – an innovative and ambitious programme of job creation that will support levelling up and some 250,000 jobs.

It is going further and faster than ever to decarbonise transport, harnessing the power of clean green technology to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050. This will be achieved by:

  • Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen: The UK already has world-leading electrolyser companies, and unparalleled carbon capture and storage sites that we can maximise. Working with industry, the UK Government is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 which will provide a clean source of fuel for the transport industry.
  • Accelerating the shift to zero emission transport: Besides backing the UK’s world-leading automotive sector to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming the UK’s infrastructure to better support electric vehicles, the UK is also focused on electrifying more railway lines and creating more integrated, cleaner bus and train networks.
  • Promoting green public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel, with investment in the zero-emission public transport of the future, including thousands of green buses and hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes.
  • Developing Jet Zero and Green Ships: Positioning the UK at the forefront of aviation and maritime green technology to push forward low-carbon travel through research projects for zero emission planes and ships, sustainable aviation fuels and improved infrastructure at UK airports and seaports.

See the Ten Point Plan in full.

The UK’s transport decarbonisation agenda

The UK Government is committed to going further and faster to tackle climate change. In March 2020, we published ‘Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge’, kicking off our work to prepare a Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

We have now published the Transport Decarbonisation Plan – the first of its kind in the world – which will set the transport sector on the path to net zero by 2050.

This is the biggest piece of work we have ever undertaken to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from transport. It takes a holistic and cross-modal approach and sets out a credible and ambitious path for the sector.

See the UK Government’s transport decarbonisation plan in full.

Clean transport: get involved in developing markets

Developing the export market can be of immense benefit to UK businesses of all sizes. Firms can play a part in providing not only cleaner means of transport, but also in devising and implementing international transport projects and infrastructure developments.

Discover if your business could export transport-related goods or services and how we could help you fulfil your potential.

For help with your export journey, access our expert guidance, tools and services 24/7 using our online export support.

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