Carbon Emissions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by advising officials that rail travel should be the preferred option for business trips if the journey is less than six hours; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the introduction of such measures in Switzerland.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State

As part of the current Greening Government Commitment targets, the Government as a whole has reduced the number of domestic flights its staff took by 28% in 2018/19 compared with the baseline of 2009/10. This shows good progress towards the target reduction of 30%, which the Government is on course to exceed by the target date of 2020. As part of this commitment, many departments have revisited their travel service arrangements to reduce domestic flights and have introduced initiatives to increase electronic operations. However, we acknowledge that there is still more to be done.

The Government is currently developing an ambitious, updated set of Greening Government Commitment targets for 2021-2025, with travel as an area in which we are looking to improve. We are committed to setting new targets that will be consistent with a trajectory to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will continue to look at further measures to encourage lower emissions travel options for Government officials.

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