Last reviewed 13 June 2022

With diesel prices up by 63% globally since January 2021, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has launched a 17-point emergency plan for governments to tackle rising fuel prices and their impact on transport networks, energy security and decarbonisation plans.

IRU points out that escalating fuel prices are driving inflation through the global economy and the rising risk of small operators going bankrupt will further break down mobility and logistics networks and mean they are less able to invest in new vehicles to decarbonise.

The IRU President, Radu Dinescu, said: “Road transport operators are facing a cash flow crunch, especially the 90% who are small and medium-sized firms. Volatility in diesel prices and inflexible commercial terms mean they have little room for manoeuvre and bankruptcies are climbing. This will damage road transport network capacity and efficiency, impacting supply chains, inflation and the broader economy. We need to act now.”

Emergency plans by the IRU include 17 government actions to support road transport operators, especially in alleviating fuel price volatility, and to realign decarbonisation roadmaps to the new realities of increasing energy insecurity.

Due to enormous differences of up to 96%, the organisation is calling for all modes of commercial transport to pay the same fuel tax to keep decarbonisation plans on course, as well as accelerate efficiency measures via collective road transport and eco-trucks.

Governments should, it argues, review decarbonisation policies carefully to plan a more gradual shift to renewable fuels, beyond battery electric vehicles, and scale back market distortions, such as road user charging and zero emission zones that exclude already operational low carbon fuel options such as biodiesel and bio-LNG.

The IRU’s emergency resolution, which was adopted with input from the commercial road transport sector in all global regions, is available — here.