Widespread support for transport CO2 targets

The vast majority of those working within - and campaigning about - the automotive industries would support a CO2 target for road transport, according to a think tank dedicated to reducing the impact of travel.

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) is a membership organisations with representatives from a wide array of bodies including car manufacturers, fuel companies, consumer groups, policy makers and environmental NGOs.

The results of a survey of its membership, revealed at a London conference this week, showed a surprising consensus on the issue of CO2 targets.

90% of members wanted EU-wide CO2 targets for road transport while 70% thought planned targets for cars produced after 2012 were not too tough.

The three most effective ways to reduce emissions were thought to be legal targets for new cars, graded road tax based on CO2 output and positive incentives for low carbon vehicles, such as the concessions offered by London’s Congestion Charge.

Views on the UK’s performance in this field were mixed, with 25% believing the country was a global or European leaders in the field while the remaining three quarters thought it was average at best and a laggard at worst.

Biofuels proved a controversial subject, with two thirds of the partnership claiming that, when all the environmental considerations are taken into account, they have a positive impact and a third taking the opposite view – that biofuels are a potentially damaging environmental red herring.

There was broad agreement that any road pricing schemes planned by the Government ought to take CO2 emissions into account and a call to replace the Bus Service Operators’ Grant (BSOG) with a mechanism which favours low-carbon vehicles.

Greg Archer, the LowCVP Director, said: “This LowCVP survey is striking in terms of the high level of agreement amongst very diverse organisations on some of the key climate and transport issues.

“The results give a strong indication to policy makers of the type of policies favoured by stakeholder experts in this field.”

“The new Government should look again at defining clear targets for greenhouse gas reductions from major sectors like road transport to complement their overall objectives.”

Sam Bond

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