Government ‘technology neutral’ in drive to cut transport emissions says Norman Baker

The Government stands firm as "technology neutral" when it comes to reducing emissions from domestic transport, and does not favour electric vehicle technology over others, says Transport Minister Norman Baker.

Speaking at the LowCVP annual conference yesterday, Baker said: “We have an objective to reduce carbon emissions from transport in order to meet our carbon reduction target.

“We’re not saying that electric is the answer and everything else doesn’t matter. We are supporting fuel cell technology and hybrid,” he added.

Baker said the Government was not in a position to provide the answer to low carbon transport, adding that its responsibility was to set the objective and to provide technology neutral incentives to achieve it.

He stressed that it was up to industry to determine the best way to achieving targets and objectives.

“The Government hasn’t got a very good record of picking winners, most of us are not scientists and even if we were scientists it wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that we would pick the right result,” he said.

“We’ll let the market sort it out,” added Baker.

Earlier in the day, the LowCVP said that introducing new energy technologies in road transport will mean the current method of measuring the climate impact of vehicles will become increasingly inadequate.

Coinciding with the event, the organisation released a report, Life Cycle CO2e Assessment of Low Carbon Cars 2020-2030, which shows how total life cycle CO2 equivalent emissions will change for different vehicle technologies in the future and estimates how the balance of emissions will alter for different stages in the life cycle for the varying technologies.

In other news, the International Energy Agency published a report this week claiming that overhauling urban transport networks through a package of energy efficiency policies could reduce total global expenditures on vehicles, fuels and transport infrastructure by as much as $70tr (£47tr) by 2050.

Leigh Stringer

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