Finding Zemo


Andy Eastlake shares the thought process of re-branding from LowCVP to Zemo Partnership

Well, we finally did it – and thank goodness it’s over!

When we took the decision to change the name of our organisation, we probably didn’t realise how much it would entail…On 18 February LowCVP became Zemo Partnership. The change is intended to send a clear signal to our members and the wider community that ‘low’ is no longer ambitious enough; now, it’s all about getting to zero!

And it’s not just about vehicles; our work is increasingly extending back into the areas of fuels/energy and infrastructure and, of course, vehicles themselves look set to become an integral part of the ‘energy system’.

The initial impetus for the change came, of course, from the announcement of the UK’s Net Zero commitment in 2019. The rebrand was quite long in gestation, involving several iterations, many stakeholder meetings and conversations, and the relaunch of a quite large, data-filled website.

So, now we’re telling anyone who’ll listen that the future of road transport is all about moving to zero emissions…and we really have to start the journey to deliver on that assertion. We know this can only be done in partnership, and with a much wider range of stakeholders than before, particularly as energy – especially electricity – and transport come ever closer together.

We’ll be announcing an acceleration programme in the coming months. Becoming Zemo was about laying the right foundations for the launch of a work programme with heightened ambition to support the pace of policy we are now seeing emerge from government.

In so many ways, 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for the low2zero emissions agenda in transport. With CoP26 looming on to the horizon, colleagues in the Department of Transport have said that they’ve never been busier, and the speed of introduction of new policies and announcements has recently been dizzying. While the imminent onset of purdah for the May local elections is no doubt partly responsible for the recent spate of new documents, we know that officials are gearing up for the ‘big one’; expected to be introduced fairly soon after the elections are over – the Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP).

Our acceleration programme will, of course, be linked to the TDP and will be designed to support some of what we expect will be in it but we will also adapt to what it contains and as the situation in this most abnormal of years, evolves.

Expect the TDP to be ambitious. We’ve already seen the Ten Point Plan and the 2030/5 announcement for cars and vans, with consultations coming thick and fast on phasing out tailpipe emissions in all sectors. The TDP will provide a lot more detail about how this is going to be achieved and how the Government sees the longer – certainly even more collaborative - road ahead.

So, I’m glad – and it’s something of a relief – that we have successfully ‘found’ Zemo. And now we’re all ‘revved up’ – or ‘charged up’ - and ready to go on the next decarbonisation journey ahead but with a strong sense of partnership as before and the same imperative, to help everyone, whatever their situation, take the next steps to zero emissions mobility.  Hopefully, we are all ‘finding Zemo’ after all.