Road plans to wipe out e-car savings

Sometimes when you take a hard decision, it’s only later you’re sure you did the right thing. Today was one such moment when we read a new study that rubbishes the Government’s claim that new roads have little impact on climate change.

The study calculates 80% of the carbon savings from switching to electric vehicles will be wiped out by the £27 billion roads plan we’re seeking to challenge in court. Building roads would, it found, increase carbon emissions by 20 million tonnes up to 2032, a period when it is critical there are rapid reductions. The story has been covered widely, including by the BBC, The Times and he i.

Only a few days earlier the Department for Transport finally filed its response to our case. There it asserted it was simply “impossible” that the UK’s largest ever roads plan could hinder tackling climate change and that the Paris Agreement wasn’t obviously relevant. Government lawyers argued this meant ministers were justified in simply ploughing on for now and promising to publish a carbon cutting plan in the future.

Unfortunately, as it’s now a court document we can’t share this with you but what we can say is how shocked we were by this response! Days earlier the Committee on Climate Change made a compelling call for urgent action, in the face of what’s set to be the hottest year ever (see our previous blog). Thanks to our legal case, the government’s true position – rejecting acting now on climate – has been revealed. The trouble is they are seeking to conceal this with a stream of warm words, photo opportunities and announcements.  

This is where you come in. Please help us get the word out more widely and keep the pressure up, by sharing this blog and the compelling media coverage of the report on social media. New polling has revealed that only 9% of people want more roads built in their local area, the trouble is politicians don’t accept views have changed. Let your friends, families and colleagues know why we can no longer put off a change of direction on roads. The easiest way is by sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter. You can keep in touch with what we are up to by signing up to our new newsletter, we will be sharing more actions very shortly.

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