Discussion about the Future and Benefits of Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles and Greener Practices

Image representing E-Car Club as depicted in C...

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TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH BY MINISTER OF STATE : Baroness Kramer  

Thank you Charlie, and good morning ladies and gentlemen.

It’s a great pleasure to be here in my new capacity as Minister of State for Transport.

I might be new to the department, but my interest in transport goes back a long way.

I ran a business advising on infrastructure finance in central and eastern Europe.

I was on the board of Transport for London.

English: Menzies Campbell, British politician ...

English: Menzies Campbell, British politician and advocate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I was Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary – under the leadership of Sir Menzies Campbell.

But despite this experience, I had never travelled in a pure electric car before today (23 October 2013).

I must say I was hugely impressed.

So impressed, in fact, that I’m trying to persuade E-Car to let me drive one.

The environmental case for going electric is widely understood, but I wasn’t expecting the vehicles to be as sophisticated and refined as they are – both in their design and in the quality of their ride.

Clearly the products are right.

And sales are growing.

But over the next few years, we have to make them even more commercially attractive to potential customers.

So it’s inspiring to see a business like E-Car Club, which was only set up a couple of years ago, doing so much to promote ultra low emission vehicles.

While government is providing significant funding to develop the technology, expand the infrastructure, and reduce the cost of electric vehicles to buyers, ultimately building the market requires initiative and entrepreneurial flair at a local level.

And that’s precisely what E-Car Club and HARCA are doing here.

This type of collaboration, between the car club, local authority and community association will be instrumental in growing the market and changing the way we travel.

Pay-as-you-go car clubs don’t just help us improve air quality, reduce traffic noise and cut carbon.

They also give Londoners more choice about the journeys they take.

Reduce the cost of transport to individuals and businesses.

And promote more efficient use of cars.

We are absolutely committed as a government to speeding up the development of electric and other ultra low-carbon vehicles – and supporting the growing market.

As some of you may be aware, last month we published our ultra low emission vehicle strategy – called ‘Driving the future today’.

Taking on board the views of stakeholders, it sets out a structured plan to transform sales of ultra low emission vehicles. Our long-term vision is for all cars and vans on our roads to be ultra low emission vehicles by 2050.

We will continue to support the early market, through:

  • plug-in grants which currently reduce the upfront cost by up to £5000 per car or £8000 per van
  • tax concessions
  • and grants for installing charging infrastructure

We are also working to install more publicly accessible chargers in key locations like car parks at train stations and rapid chargers at motorway services.

We have an unwavering, long-term commitment to decarbonising road transport.

Not just to tackle climate change.

But also to make the UK a global leader in green vehicle technologies and engineering.

The government’s focus will remain consistent and technologically neutral.

And we welcome any innovative thinking that helps us achieve that goal.

We will work to resolve any market failures or barriers to growth.

In Europe we will continue to negotiate on the basis that regulations on reducing CO₂ from cars are ambitious but realistic.

And we will keep on listening to industry and ensure that its concerns are taken on board when formulating policy.

The industry’s role is crucial – and will be even more crucial in the future as our investment in green vehicles grows.

In the 2013 Spending Round, the Chancellor announced that £500 million would be made available to develop the ULEV market between 2015 and 2020.

This is a world leading commitment that gives certainty to the market.

But we need the industry to help us deploy it in the most beneficial way.

So we will shortly be launching a call for evidence to draw in a wide range of ideas to help us design the next phase of our ULEV programme.

This is your opportunity to tell us how we can best support sustainable market growth in this sector.

How best we can help UK technology businesses.

And how best these changes can boost economic growth.

We will retain incentives to help motorists with the upfront cost of buyingULEVs.

And of course we will continue to invest to get the necessary infrastructure in place.

I think we all appreciate that the decarbonisation of road transport presents us with a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Like you, I am determined that we seize that opportunity.

And I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to do just that.

Thank you.

#aceenvironews, #business, #e-car-club, #electric-car, #london, #menzies-campbell, #minister-of-state-for-transport, #secretary-of-state-for-transport, #susan-kramer, #ultra-low-emission-vehicle

UN Call in Copenhagen for Clean Energy for a Sustainable Future

United Nations United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a clean energy transformation to help put the world on a more sustainable path, stressing that this will require innovation, investment and collaboration by all partners.

“Achieving a clean energy transformation will need the joint efforts of governments, multilateral investment banks, private finance, civil society, the knowledge community and the private sector,” Mr. Ban said in a keynote <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7218“>address at the Third Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen. “We are partners on a path to sustainability… But we have no time to waste.”

He noted that the way energy is produced and used is “the dominant cause” of climate change. “The impact on our global economy is increasingly clear. We count the cost in human lives and economic loss,” he stated. “But, we are forging solutions together all over the world.”

In September 2011, the Secretary-General launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.

“Each of these objectives serves a common end: clean, low-carbon growth. This is critical for sustainable development,” said Mr. Ban.

He highlighted the world is fast approaching a triple deadline. The target date for achieving the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) falls at end of 2015. World leaders have also agreed on 2015 as the year for establishing a new sustainable development framework and reaching an agreement on climate change.

“2015 thus represents a historic opportunity to set the world on a sustainable path,” Mr. Ban stated. “To do that we must eradicate extreme poverty and hold global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“These objectives are mutually reinforcing and interdependent. Achieving them will require significant global momentum – beginning with a concerted push to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

“On that foundation we must agree an inclusive post-2015 development framework with poverty reduction at its core and sustainable development as its guide. And to support these efforts, we must increase action and ambition on climate change.”

To that end, Mr. Ban has proposed convening a Climate Summit next September to bring together government, business, finance and civil society leaders from around the world to mobilize political will for the climate negotiations, deliver concrete new commitments and spark “a race to the top” in climate action.

He asked leaders to bring solutions and initiatives with targets, deliverables and investment plans. He also urged them to raise their level of ambition by scaling up the investments and financial flows necessary for making the transformation to a low-carbon economy.

“We need large amounts of capital for the rapid development of low-carbon infrastructure,” he stated. “We are seeing progress – but not fast enough; and not at sufficient scale.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development. Yet, too often, one important fact gets lost amid the fear: addressing climate change is one of our greatest opportunities,” he noted.

UN-Energy“With enlightened action, we can create jobs, improve public health, protect the environment and spur sustainable green growth. In the coming year we should all do our utmost to unlock the barriers to climate finance that exist across the global economy.”

The Secretary-General said he is personally engaged in trying to move the financial actors, regularly meeting with financial actors and investors. Today he attended a meeting with pension fund executives, at which he <“http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3143“>asked them to help in unlocking new opportunities for capital investment in climate and development.

He also noted, in the meeting, his intention to include pension fund leaders in the Climate Summit, and discussed the possibilities for using the event as a unique opportunity to leverage unprecedented financial, political and organizational capital.

“I will continue to engage and challenge pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds to look beyond the fossil-related segments of the global economy. Less than 1 per cent of pension fund assets are currently invested in sustainable infrastructure projects,” Mr. Ban told the forum.

“Our hope is that greater investment can move towards low-carbon assets, for the good of the world and the long-term financial health of investors. At the same time, development and commercial banks can and should unlock capital to enable low-carbon investments. And regulators can break barriers to facilitating these flows.

“There are enormous untapped investment opportunities in developing countries. All financial actors have to work together to create the mechanisms for making these investments possible. Companies and countries have to make sure that bankable projects are ready, when the money is available.

“With focus, resolve and ambition, we can lower the global thermostat and raise the level of economic opportunity for all – from the poorest households to the largest enterprises.”

#aceenvironews, #ban-ki-moon, #clean-energy, #climate, #climate-change, #copenhagen, #investment, #low-carbon-economy, #millennium-development-goals, #new-york-city, #secretary-general-of-the-united-nations, #sustainable-development, #sustainable-energy

PACIFIC NATIONS AT UN CALL FOR URGENT GLOBAL APPROACH TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE

PACIFIC NATIONS AT UN CALL FOR URGENT GLOBAL APPROACH TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE
New York, Sep 28 2013 8:00PM
Pacific countries, some of them threatened with extinction from rising sea levels, took to the podium of the United Nations General Assembly today to call for an urgent global approach to mitigate climate change, voicing concern at the lack of progress so far.

“Climate change is no longer an environmental or political issue,” said Deputy Prime Minister Vete Palakua Sakaio of Tuvalu, a low-lying country of atolls in the direct line of onslaught from rising oceans.

#aceenvironews, #climate-change, #united-nations