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Transport | Energy saving programmes for transport sector

To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which energy savings can be made throughout the transport sector with particular reference to the current energy crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The transport sector can play a significant role in achieving energy savings, particularly in the context of reducing demand for fuel, which is reflected in the Government’s National Energy Security Framework.  The Framework, which was published last April, highlights the need to implement this department’s Sustainable Mobility Policy (SMP) as a priority, and to devise a programme of measures for the transport sector to increase energy efficiency and reduce reliance on fossil fuels with particular reference to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use.  

As the Deputy may know, the SMP aims to support a significant shift from car use towards more sustainable modes – walking, cycling and public transport – between now and 2030.  Within the current crisis, this approach is being supported by reduced public transport fares and a significant increase in investment in active travel infrastructure.  

Information campaigns, which focus on the benefits of sustainable modes – reduced costs, emissions reductions, improved health – also have the potential to realise considerable energy savings.  As demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, a campaign of clear targeted messaging is one of the most effective ways to achieve significant behavioural change in a short timeframe.

In the context of the current crisis, my department will continue to engage on sector-specific and Government-wide communications initiatives to encourage individuals and businesses to lower their fuel usage where feasible, including the Reduce Your Use campaign being coordinated by the Department of the Environment, Climate, and Communications (DECC). 

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