19 October 2021
RMT Press Office
Commenting on the Government's Net Zero Strategy which includes investment of £620m in electric vehicle grants and street charging points, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“Transport is the highest emitting sector of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and the majority of transport emissions come from cars. Urgent and far-reaching action is needed if we have any chance of meeting our climate change targets.
“Given the scale of the challenge, a switch to electric cars alone won't be enough to deliver the radical reductions in transport emissions that are required. Instead, there needs to be a significant modal shift from private cars to sustainable public transport.
“It is therefore inexplicable that the Government seems intent on creating a public transport system that is unaffordable, unattractive and unavailable and is inflicting cuts and austerity across the public transport sector.
“Rail, bus, tube, metro and ferry services are being denied the funds they need, passengers face eye watering rail fare increases, and thousands of public transport jobs are at risk.
“If we are truly going to ‘Build Back Greener’, instead of these short-sighted attacks, we need a new deal for public transport, through a green transport revolution that makes services more affordable, available, accessible, and attractive to use.
“The Government should be diverting the billions it has allocated to road building to investing in and expanding our sustainable public transport networks. The Government's own watchdog has found that passengers want more, not less, staff, and the new deal for public transport must protect and expand public transport staffing.
“As COP26 fast approaches, RMT is ramping up its campaigning to demand that the Government 'Cut carbon emissions, not public transport jobs.”
We will be examining all of the report carefully and will also be stepping up our demands to guarantee the jobs and conditions of maritime and energy workers whose skills are so essential for a secure future for the UK.”
Notes to editors
The Government announcement is available at - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uks-path-to-net-zero-set-out-in-landmark-strategy