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Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from road transport. (76594)

The Government are introducing a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation in April 2008, the effect of which will be that by 2010 5 per cent. of all transport fuels sold in the UK will come from renewable sources—a 20-fold increase on biofuels market share on 2005. The RTFO will deliver real environmental benefits and is projected to save around 1 million tonnes of carbon by 2010 (the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road).

To encourage company car drivers to drive more environmentally friendly cars with lower carbon dioxide emissions, the Chancellor announced in Budget 2006 that the lower threshold for company car tax rates will be reduced by 5g/km from 140g/km to 135g/km from 2008-09. It also provides for introduction of a new 10 per cent. band for cars with CO2 emissions of 120g/km or below, also from 2008-09.

Vehicle excise duty for cars is based on carbon dioxide emissions which give a clear signal to motorists to choose less polluting vehicles. New energy efficiency vehicle labels—matching the graduated VED structure—were introduced into car showrooms last year, raising consumer awareness of the potential fuel savings available from using more efficient vehicles. At Budget, the Chancellor announced further reforms to VED, including a new higher band for the most polluting new cars, and a zero rate of VED for cars with less than 100g per kilometre of CO2 emissions to assist the development of the low carbon car market.

On 7 June I announced that we will refocus the two-year budget of £40 million earmarked for environmental grants and advice. The full budget will remain allocated for green transport initiatives, the detail of which will be developed as part of the Powering Future Vehicles Strategy review this year.

The European Voluntary Agreement on new car fuel efficiency provides an incentive for vehicle manufacturers. Government are working with relevant stakeholders to consider a replacement for the voluntary agreement, which expires in 2008-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made in lowering the average emissions per vehicle. (76545)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the former Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend for Edinburgh, South-West (Mr. Darling) to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 2 May 2006, Official Report, column 829.