Webinar Series: The Road to Zero Carbon via COP26

Webinar Series: The Road to Zero Carbon via COP26

SYSTRA developed a series of five monthly Webinars in the run up to Cop 26 covering the Climate Emergency and the route to Net Zero. The sixth and final webinar took place on Thursday 21st April 2022, and reflected on the impact of COP26, asking “The road to zero carbon post COP26 - where do we go next?”

See article on Transport XTra - Behaviour Change and Net Zero, where do we start?



The road to zero carbon post COP26 - where do we go next?

Thursday 21st April 2022

Chair: Katie Hall, Transport Planning Sector Director, SYSTRA
Speakers included:

  • Peter Cole, Principal Environmental and Sustainability officer, Transport for the North
  • Caroline Mullen, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
  • David Connolly, Director of Technical Development, SYSTRA

More than 120 days after COP 26, local authorities – and the the transport sector in general – are carefully analysing Government signals about how the road to zero carbon is being followed.

Local and regional council strategy could have direct impact on one-third of local emissions through levers over housing, transport and the natural environment, but many are wondering if the funding and political will to take forward such policies exists.

The past few weeks have seen mixed messages emerge from politicians: support for EVs and charging infrastructure, but reductions in fuel duty, reluctance to reconsider road schemes using new carbon prices and traffic forecasts, calls for micro mobility to be more tightly regulated, and reductions in funding for bus services.

This webinar explores what the next steps to net zero should be:

  • learning from post-pandemic travel demand changes – what is the real role of transport planning today?
  • is there a case for making major shifts in funding and priority from the roads programme to active travel, public transport, and sustainable planning?
  • how much do place-based approaches really matter?
  • making net zero fair: considering mobility, safety, health and economic inequalities

The future of rural mobility

Wednesday 27th October 2021

The summer of 2021 has been awash with reports about transport decarbonisation, and most have highlighted the scale of the challenge for rural areas in particular. More than half the country’s population lives in small towns, rural areas, or suburban fringes. The economics of transport in rural areas is very different from urban settings, and most accept that a one-size-fits-all approach to decarbonising transport will not achieve the desired outcomes. The webinar will explore:

  • Is the Government’s Road to Zero industrial strategy / transport decarbonisation plan urban-centric?
  • Electrification outside of urban areas
  • What are the possible outcomes for the rural community when it comes to transport decarbonisation options?
  • MaaS, mobility hubs, shared transport and on demand / DRT services
  • Funding and business models for rural public transport
  • Supporting active travel

Transport Decarbonisation Plan: a beginning, not an end. So what’s next?

19th August 2021

A ‘greenprint’ to decarbonise all modes of domestic transport by 2050 is at the heart of the Government’s much anticipated and long-awaited Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP), which was published on 14 July.

The Government has also published a 2035 Delivery Plan, comprising all the measures for decarbonising cars and vans into a single document. Transport is the largest contributor to UK greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport alone accounting for almost a quarter of the UK’s total emissions in 2019. The TDP is one of a number of Government documents that will pave the way for a comprehensive net-zero strategy ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November.

But are the current plans ambitious enough and, if not, what needs to be addressed?

This webinar explored:
What does the TDP really say about car use and car ownership, and is road building going to really be necessary in that context? How much of the transport carbon budget do local authorities have control over, and what do they need from the proposed ‘toolkit’? Can we achieve carbon reduction from passenger transport if the costs of electrified motoring are going down? How are we going to level up costs between cars and public transport? How can we get the transport sector to account – with transparency – for its wider carbon footprint?

Behaviour change on the road to Net Zero: carrots and sticks

24th June 2021

Social change is critical to rapid decarbonisation, but can there really be a one-size-fits-all approach? How can we ensure that innovation in decarbonised transport is ready for all kinds of places – city and rural – and for different lifestyles, age groups and varying demographics?

Our speakers explored the sticks and carrots available to us, now and in the future. Key issues include:

  • Understanding the true cost of transport: we spend huge sums on transport and travel, so how can these monies be targeted at net zero and healthy, safe and active travel?
  • Exploring the private car and its role in all our futures
  • Insights into how people wish to, and are able to, practice transport decarbonisation
  • Whether there is a case to introduce some form of national road pricing scheme – and if so, what kind of scheme or schemes?
  • The technology possibilities and challenges of introducing such scheme
  • The sorts of policy objectives that will get public support

Planning for 15 minute centres: land use, connectivity and accessibility

20th May 2021

People need access, not transport – and that means access to educational, economic, social and cultural opportunities.

When designing neighbourhoods, the aspiration should be for everyone to live within a short walk, cycle or scoot of such amenities and all basic facilities, for example significant green space and a transport hub for onward connections, when and if required.

For decades, planning has been about mobility: helping people get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. It’s been about ‘how far you can go’ in a given amount of time, rather than ‘how much you can get to’ in that time.

Carbon, Climate – What’s the Emergency?

15th April

The first event took place on Thursday 15th April it introduced the Climate Emergency agenda covering:

  • What’s the issue and what do the guidelines say.
  • Approaches and barriers to achieving NET zero.
  • A panel discussion answering your Frequently Asked Questions including
  • Will the pandemic behavioural change help with achieving NET Zero Carbon?
  • Does Offsetting work?
  • Are electric vehicle the panacea to solve transport emissions?
  • Are Biodiversity and Climate change emergencies related?
  • How much can we change as individuals, organisations and local authorities?

See article on Transport XTra - Carbon Climate - What’s the Emergency?

We look forward to your attendance at these events and encourage participation through the messaging facility during the Webinar or through further post event feedback.

If you wish to find out more about SYSTRA’s capabilities in the Climate Emergency sector, please click the link below.


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