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Cars: Carbon Emissions

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the relative merits of using a weight-based system or a footprint-based system to assess a car’s carbon dioxide emissions. (226563)

We have looked at the weight versus footprint issue from various perspectives: total costs and how they would be distributed among different types of vehicles; how well the criterion relates to desirable features in a vehicle (‘utility’); to what extent the criterion may encourage perverse incentives; and availability of data.

There is an analysis on pages 59-62 of the Impact Assessment accompanying our consultation on the draft European regulation on new car CO2 emissions, available at:

In the light of examination of this question by officials in my Department, we support a weight-based utility parameter, but with provision for data collection and review of the regulation so that a footprint-based system could be considered for the future.