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Road Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021

Volume 813: debated on Thursday 8 July 2021

Considered in Grand Committee

Moved by

That the Grand Committee do consider the Road Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021.

My Lords, these draft regulations will be made under the powers conferred by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The regulations amend Regulation 2019/631 and Regulation 114/2013, both as amended by prior EU-exit SIs. Regulation 2019/631 sets carbon dioxide emission standards for new cars and vans in Great Britain, while Regulation 114/2013 establishes the rules for applying for a derogated target.

An EU-exit SI amended the EU regulations and established car and van carbon dioxide emission standards in Great Britain only, as the regulations were originally listed in Annexe 2 of the Northern Ireland protocol, meaning that Northern Ireland would continue to be captured by the EU regime. The current fleet average carbon dioxide emission target for cars is 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, and for vans it is set at 147 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

Manufacturers are set individual targets based on the mass of their fleet compared to the average mass of the entire Great British fleet. The heavier a manufacturer’s vehicle, the higher their target, and vice versa. All targets average out to either of the headline targets as aforementioned. The target for both cars and vans will tighten further in 2025 by 15%, and in 2030 by 31% for vans and 37.5% for cars, when compared with the 2021 baseline. Fines are levied for non-compliance with these targets.

The regulations allow for flexibilities to be granted to help manufacturers in certain circumstances to reach their target. One of these flexibilities is derogations. Smaller manufacturers can apply for a derogated target which is more in line with their technical and economic capability. Pooling is another flexibility. This is where manufacturers can join together for the purposes of the regulation and will be given one target. Manufacturers can also receive credits for using carbon-dioxide-reducing technologies in their vehicles that are not taken into account during the carbon dioxide test procedure, such as LED bulbs. More credits can be earned, up to a certain limit, when a manufacturer puts more zero and low-emission vehicles on the market. These are called super-credits and are available across 2021 and 2022.

Regulation 114/2013, as amended by two previous EU exit SIs, is a tertiary piece of legislation which further sets out the rules and procedures for manufacturers when applying for a derogation. The withdrawal Act retained EU Regulations 2019/631 and 114/2013 in their entirety on exit day in UK law. These were amended by a prior EU exit SI, 2020/1418, and set obligations in GB only, due to the Northern Ireland protocol. The draft instrument under consideration today reflects changes made to the Northern Ireland protocol by the Joint Committee. On 18 December, the EU regulations were removed from Annexe 2 of the protocol, leaving Northern Ireland without any car and van carbon dioxide regulation. This instrument will therefore extend the domestic regulations to Northern Ireland from 1 September, in effect creating a UK-wide regime.

The amendments throughout the regulations primarily replace “GB” with “UK”. However, a provision was added stating that new car and van registrations in Northern Ireland prior to 1 September were out of scope of the regulations, including all target calculations. This SI is essential to ensuring that new cars and vans in Northern Ireland are subject to the same carbon dioxide emission standards as elsewhere in the UK.

The regulations are necessary to ensure that the UK achieves its net-zero ambitions and legally binding carbon budgets. I beg to move.

I am very grateful to the Minister, who has outlined the changes to the regulations which amended the amended regulations and covered the specific issue regarding Northern Ireland, for reasons that she explained very clearly to the Committee.

This short debate also gives us the opportunity to consider some of the substantive issues behind the regulations. Alongside the decision to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 and introduce new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from 2035, the regulations are part of a very welcome set of regulations.

However, the key question remains: how do the Government intend to strengthen and reform vehicle CO2 performance and emissions standards to ensure that emissions from non-ZEV—zero-emission vehicle—sales continue to drop ahead of their full phase-out? Does my noble friend accept the views of Energy UK that the key objectives of the policy framework should be: making ZEVs more affordable—a key consumer concern, and an important part of a just transition; increasing the supply of ZEVs, a key challenge at present; continuing to drive improvement in all new cars and vans, to avoid emissions from non-ZEVs increasing ahead of their phase-out; providing certainty to consumers and industry to unlock private investment and provide a strong signal to the public about the direction of travel; coming in at an acceptable cost to the taxpayer; and providing good value for money? In summary, Energy UK says that the Government should

“Introduce a zero emission vehicles … mandate to provide a clear and binding trajectory for the increase in ZEV sales leading up to 2035.”

On CO2 emission standards, do the Government intend to provide a way to incrementally reduce emissions from new non-ZEVs by publicising them clearly and well in advance, and will they consider strengthening standards now?

Does the Minister agree that consistency in policy, transparency and adequate timing are all essential? To date, the scandals reported around monitoring emissions are important considerations. I believe that we have already learned the lessons from them. Baseline measurements and transparency are required. To ensure transparency in the emissions measurement process and to eliminate any doubt about the specific data reported by manufacturers, the emission reporting process and tools must be completely transparent to the Government, the trade and the general public for verification processes. This includes both the yearly emissions measurements as well as the specific reported CO2 emissions within the respective subgroups as defined by the original regulations. Does the Minister further agree that it will be key to the future decarbonisation of the heavy-duty transport sector to set ambitious and forward-looking CO2 targets—as I believe she intends—with strong zero and low-emission vehicle targets? Ambitious regulation and binding targets are key to reducing the risk of investing in zero-emission technology.

I support my noble friend’s work in this sector, I am very grateful to her, and I support the amending regulations before the Committee.

My Lords, I, too, thank the Minister for her explanation, although I must admit—it is no fault of hers—that I found it about as opaque as the Explanatory Memorandum to the SI. I shall ask just three straightforward questions. First, are the EU and UK regulations still identical at the moment? Secondly, what is the Government’s view on divergence of those regulations, and therefore the export potential of UK car manufacturers into the European Union? Thirdly, if there is divergence, where does Northern Ireland fit in? I get the impression that, having been dropped from the protocol, UK standards would reign in Northern Ireland, although most manufacturing is within the single market. I should be interested to understand that.

To follow on from a question in the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, the 2030 target is incredibly important, ending the sale of vehicles with only internal combustion engines. When will the Government bring forward legislation to implement that policy? Until that is implemented, no one can have any certainty at all that that date will not be postponed. When will the Government bring forward legislation to move it from a wish list to a statutory requirement?

My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Baroness for introducing this draft SI. She tried valiantly to make it intelligible, and she did better than the text of the SI itself, which is, probably of necessity, pretty opaque.

I have been looking at some of the issues in the Explanatory Memorandum and, in particular, paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2. I find it surprising that the amendments, being necessary, were thought of only on 18 December 2020, which was two weeks, including Christmas, before Brexit day. This may not be as important as the measures on importing fresh meat, and everything else, which are still being discussed between the UK and the EU in respect of Northern Ireland, but it does seem to have been completely forgotten. The Minister tried very hard in her explanation to rescue what is probably just about impossible to rescue.

I have one or two questions on the Explanatory Memorandum itself. First, on paragraph 7.5, we noted that no EU or UK regulations apply to Northern Ireland between now and 1 August, I think the Minister said. Does that mean that manufacturers who had been on the ball could have introduced the dirtiest possible emissions in cars, vans and other vehicles during the six to seven months when there have been no regulations, and nobody could do anything about it? Presumably, for that reason, nobody has been fined or even caught.

The Minister mentioned “pooling”, which is mentioned in paragraph 7.10 of the Explanatory Memorandum. It is easy to say that that is a good thing, because overall it will balance out the more polluting with the less polluting vehicles. However, I recall the failure of Volkswagen. The subsequent court cases are still ongoing, because it was alleged to have fiddled the figures on emissions—and one or two other manufacturers are, I suspect, saying, “There but for the grace of God go we”. This seems to be a way out for manufacturers to get away with anything they want. I hope that I am wrong and that the Minister will tell me if I am wrong, because it seems very odd.

That also applies to paragraph 7.16 and the phrase “carve out provision”. To me, a carve-up is something that should not be done but often is done to get away with what you should not get away with. Whether carving out is any different, I do not know, but I am sure that the Minister can explain why that phrase is used and what it means. It seems to me to allow manufacturers and distributers of vehicles—cars and vans in Northern Ireland—to register whatever they like from the present period up to 1 August, which reflects pretty badly on the Government’s arrangements there. On whether it will make any difference to emissions or pollution, I look forward to hearing what the Minister says because, as the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, said, we are looking for much more definitive information than we have at the moment on how we get to zero carbon.

Finally, with this extraordinarily complex but no doubt necessary regulation, what is actually wrong with keeping the EU regulations, even if we change the name so that Europe does not appear in the title? It might be a lot easier.

My Lords, I too thank the Minister for her explanation, but I am relieved that the noble Lords, Lord Teverson and Lord Berkeley, used the word “opaque”, because I felt blinded by science but assumed I was the only one. This is an almost sneaky little piece of legislation, because it is presented as a regulation to continue the status quo but it is actually backfilling a regulatory loophole that was created by the Government; it did not have to be created. I am concerned that this little loophole has allowed some highly polluting vehicles to be sold in Northern Ireland. It is only in September of this year that the loophole will close, so highly polluting vehicles can still be sold until then. Clearly, it was negligent of the Government to allow this to happen. For some strange reason, they dropped Northern Ireland out of the EU emissions regime two weeks before the end of the transition period and then allowed a nine-month window of lawlessness when it came to selling polluting vehicles. Perhaps we could have some explanation of that, if it was not in the opening remarks.

Since Northern Ireland enjoys the dual status of being in the EU customs union as well as the UK internal market, I am worried that there is an opportunity for car manufacturers from across Europe and the UK to dump any remaining stock of highly polluting vehicles into Northern Ireland and for them to be sold perfectly legally. Is it possible that the Government created this nine-month free-for-all as a useful opportunity to prop up some car manufacturers and let them clear out their polluting inventory? I sort of felt that that was what the Minister was saying in her introduction.

I have a few questions. Can the Minister give details of how many vehicles have been sold in Northern Ireland through this loophole? How many more are left to be sold and are likely to be sold—I realise that is a harder question—before the September deadline? What is being done to prevent car manufacturers exploiting the loophole and dumping dirty vehicles in Northern Ireland, or do the Government just think this is fair game?

My Lords, I thank the Minister for her exposition in positive and committed terms. Surely all welcome the instrument, given genuine concerns about climate change, whether in Northern Ireland or in my homeland, the lovely land of Wales. In the context of the instrument and current public debate, will the Minister state how dangerous the diesel-engine car and light van are to the health of the citizen?

Climate change has been the motive for decisive action, but what of public health and the diesel engine? We might ask for how long successive Governments have known or not known of diesel’s threat to health. There were 18 respondees to the consultation. Just for the record, will the Minister name several of them? Paragraph 10 of the Explanatory Memorandum, on consultation outcomes, states that respondees were “generally” supportive. Where were the differences? Was that but one manufacturer or association, or was there a general theme indicative of some opposition? Further, were the consultations Minister to Minister or official to official? Were they by email perhaps—one hopes not? Was the voice of local government taken? How are consultations organised by Her Majesty’s Government in an era of devolved government? Will the Minister explain this matter to the Committee? Against such inevitable, unforeseen questions in debates such as this, will she please write with answers?

Finally, in the knowledge that the Minister knows the brief and does care, I say that there is an elephant in the room. I put it like this. How does the woman in the street afford the requirement to change her car or her van? After her car or van, how does she afford the replacement for the gas boiler? Will she be assured that climate change policies under any Government will not presage considerable tax rises? I am sure the Minister shall answer these questions in written form, and one looks forward to the answers. I thank her.

My Lords, I thank the Minister for her explanation and thank her officials for their helpful advice. This is the latest episode in the sad saga of the Northern Ireland protocol, and it is an example of the contortions the Government have had to undertake to enable the economy of Northern Ireland to function according to EU rules, as it must do in order to avoid a hard border, and at the same time to remain part of the UK economy. The solution, of course, was the only one available: that is that, effectively, EU standards will continue to apply.

In this instance, Northern Ireland was omitted from the previous SI, which covered just Great Britain, because of concerns about how Northern Ireland coverage would be achieved. Other noble Lords have referred to their worries in that respect. The result is, as the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, commented, that Northern Ireland has operated without any rules on new vehicle emissions since January, and will continue to do so until September. This gap has occurred despite the Department for Transport being fully aware.

Can the Minister explain why this SI will not be implemented immediately? The Government have a long record of introducing legislation with instant application; sometimes it is even introduced in retrospect. Since these same rules apply in the rest of the UK now, and since these are effectively EU rules, and therefore nothing new, I cannot think of a single reason why they should not immediately come into force, and why the people of Northern Ireland should not have the same protections on air quality as the rest of us.

The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, explained his concerns, and mine are very similar. My fear is that some unscrupulous dealers, or even manufacturers, may be using this legal lacuna to offload old stock or substandard products. After all, the Volkswagen scandal is less than six years old. Those vehicles were manufactured to deceive, fitted with defeat devices to disguise the real levels of emissions. Given the lengths they went to in order to cover up the scandal, it would be reasonable to expect some in the motor vehicle industry to try to take advantage of the gap in regulation now in Northern Ireland. Volkswagen was not alone. Since that time, there have been several other scandals of a similar nature, hence the EU’s attempts to tighten up on the way the emissions-testing system is undertaken.

Can the Minister say whether the Government have done any surveys or alerted trading standards in Northern Ireland to a potential problem as a result of this lacuna? What protection will consumers in Northern Ireland have if they buy a vehicle at this time and then subsequently find it is not up to modern emission standards? The Government would do well to keep a close eye on the Northern Ireland vehicle market.

On a fresh point, I want to ask about the interrelationship between this SI, and the previous one for Great Britain, and the recall clauses in the Environment Bill. We dealt with those last Monday evening; they will allow the Government to recall any vehicle which fails to meet the environmental and emissions standards applicable at the time of sale. My questions to the Minister that evening led her to confirm that recall could apply to a vehicle or its components that either did not meet the standards that applied when new or subsequently failed to meet them. Manufacturers will be liable for the full costs of recall, potentially including compensation to consumers. The Minister then confirmed that it was intended to apply to deliberate or accidental failure to meet the standards.

Can she explain where consumers in Northern Ireland will stand? They are happily buying vehicles now, probably unaware that no proper rules are in place. What will be their rights in a couple of years’ time if they discover their vehicle does not comply with the rules that should be in place, had it not been the case that the Government decided to leave Northern Ireland without legal cover for six months or so? Are the Government sure that the previous SI, for Britain only, will also fit neatly with the recall clauses?

It is a pity that the Government are still running to catch up on an issue as vital as vehicle emissions. If targets are to be met, they really need to be getting ahead by setting interim targets and incentivising consumers. I look forward anxiously to SIs for those, rather than SIs such as this, for which there are so many questions.

My Lords, CO2 emission performance standards set a maximum average level of CO2 emissions for new cars and vans, broken down into specific targets for each individual manufacturer. This issue of new car and van CO2 emissions was originally included in the Northern Ireland protocol, which meant that Northern Ireland would continue to align with EU regulations on this aspect in accordance with annex 2.

However, on 17 December last year, the UK-EU joint committee made a decision to remove two regulations covering emissions from the protocol, which meant that Northern Ireland was no longer expected to align with the EU on those regulations and could instead align with the Great Britain regime, making it a UK regime. The reason given by the joint committee was that the regulations relating to emissions of new cars and vans

“do not relate to the placing on the market of such vehicles in the Union. They should therefore be removed from Annex 2 to the Protocol”.

Removing these two regulations from the protocol, as the European Scrutiny Committee report says, also ensures that

“vehicles in Northern Ireland will not count toward EU manufacturer CO2 targets, and may count toward UK manufacturer CO2 targets instead. This clarifies Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market.”

These regulations—I too thank the Minister for her introductory comments—extend the existing GB regime to cover Northern Ireland as well, now that Northern Ireland is no longer covered by the EU regulations on this issue. This will enable the UK Government to regulate CO2 emissions from newly registered cars and vans in Northern Ireland in the same way as currently regulated in Great Britain, effective from 1 September this year.

We are supportive of the UK-EU joint committee as a forum for finding practical solutions and agreement over issues with the protocol, and that the Government must work through the joint committee, which they do not always do. I have one or two questions to ask and clarifications to seek. The Explanatory Memorandum states that, because the two regulations covering emissions were removed so late from the Northern Ireland protocol, in mid-December last year,

“Northern Ireland currently has no CO2 regulations for new cars and vans, meaning”,

as others have pointed out,

“manufacturers are free to sell highly polluting vehicles in Northern Ireland without restriction.”

Can the Minister say whether the selling of highly polluting vehicles in Northern Ireland actually happened, as the regulations we are debating, which cover Northern Ireland, do not come into effect until 1 September this year? Can the Government also say why these regulations, which will cover Northern Ireland, could not have been brought into effect much earlier than 1 September 2021, or, alternatively, why the regulations applicable in Northern Ireland could not have remained in the protocol until 1 September 2021, when the regulations we are discussing come into effect, thus presumably avoiding any period during which there would have been no CO2 regulations for new cars and vans covering Northern Ireland?

The Explanatory Memorandum refers to the need to provide a short period of time to allow industry to adapt to the regulations coming into force. What does this adaptation actually involve doing? Is there a difference between the CO2 regulations that applied in Northern Ireland prior to December 2020 and the regulations that will apply to Northern Ireland from 1 September 2021? As I said, removing these regulations from the protocol means that vehicles in Northern Ireland will not count towards EU manufacturer CO2 targets and may count towards UK manufacturer CO2 targets instead. However, since by 1 September 2021 there will have been no CO2 regulations for new cars and vans covering Northern Ireland for some eight months, does that mean that relevant vehicles in Northern Ireland will have counted towards neither EU nor UK manufacturer targets? If so, what exactly has been achieved by creating that situation, and will adjustments to the figures for this eight-month period subsequently be made to EU and UK manufacturer CO2 targets? The Explanatory Memorandum suggests that this will not be done. If that is the case, why not?

Following our departure from the EU, the Government’s policy for this year, as I understand it, has been to have a continuation of the existing EU-wide standards to minimise disruption for vehicle manufacturers. What, however, are the Government’s, intentions or plans for future vehicle emission standards in the UK, now that we are outside the EU? Or were the Government’s future intentions or plans covered by the comments the Minister made in her opening remarks? I look forward to the Government’s response to the points and questions that I and other noble Lords have raised in the debate.

I thank all noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations. I will add a bit more colour to the issues relating to the regulations and I will come on to other matters if I can; otherwise, I will write.

First, I point out in relation to the devolved nations and consultation that, because this is a Northern Ireland regulation, we obviously engaged with Northern Ireland officials on our plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and my colleague, Minister Maclean, sent a letter to the Secretary of State for the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, informing her of this SI being laid on 8 June.

Let us go back to how we got into this situation. It was because the regulations were removed from the Northern Ireland protocol at the last minute. This was a decision taken by the UK-EU Joint Committee; therefore, when we did the previous EU exit SI, it was drafted on the basis of agreed international law at that point, and the regulations therefore covered only GB. It was anticipated that Northern Ireland would be in the protocol and then obviously that turned out not to be the case. Both the UK Government and the European Commission formally agreed that these regulations were not needed, so it was not a decision of the UK Government alone. Because this decision came relatively late, as noble Lords will know—it was on 18 December —we were unable to lay an SI to extend the regulations to Northern Ireland prior to the end the transition period in 2020. I accept that that created a gap in the law, which is what noble Lords are being asked to rectify today.

The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, asked why it took so long—he said it more nicely than that. The extent of the gap in the law—the setting of the date of 1 September, which is the date when these regulations would come into force—was dependent on two factors. The first is that the process of laying an SI takes many months and cannot be done very quickly, especially when it needs consultation with stakeholders. The second is the impact on manufacturers and their views following a consultation. The date of 1 September is actually a fairly short delay to what would otherwise have been achieved, and it provides manufacturers with a certain date from which the changes will take place and time for them to adapt. The need for this was voiced by stakeholders at a VCA and DfT workshop, where concerns about the regulations coming into force immediately were expressed.

Manufacturers were essentially given very short notice of the Government’s intention to change the regulation for Northern Ireland, which would have meant that new cars and vans sold in Northern Ireland would start counting towards their domestic targets immediately, but fleet compositions are typically set out well in advance. They would not have known about or been able to plan for the new regulatory regime. Northern Irish registrations, and the resulting carbon dioxide emissions, as a share of UK totals are far more significant than the same registrations in the EU. Therefore, extending the regulations to Northern Ireland could have impacted on manufacturers’ emissions.

In addition, a key concern for manufacturers is their ability to forecast their sales for the year. Manufacturers may know the vehicles they plan to sell in the UK, but they are not in control of where or when during the year they will be sold. For example, if in a particular year more electric vehicles were sold in the first half than the second, and if you suddenly included Northern Irish vehicles from, say, July onwards, that might artificially distort the manufacturers’ average emissions and you would therefore get a distorted image. Essentially, if we use the registration data from 1 September instead, the likelihood of that distortion falls away and the industry has time to plan and adapt.

Although it is the case that carbon dioxide emissions from newly registered cars and vans in Northern Ireland from 1 January to 31 August will not count towards any carbon dioxide emission targets, it should be noted that manufacturers generally do not create vehicle models or specifications for individual countries; they create products for larger geographic markets and have strategies for them. As a result, the vehicles sold in Northern Ireland so far this year will have been heavily influenced by both the domestic and the EU carbon dioxide regimes, which currently remain aligned.

I believe that the fears of both the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and the noble Baroness, Lady Jones, are unfounded. It is useful to note that the sales of new cars and vans in Northern Ireland represent roughly 2.2% and 1.9%, respectively, of the UK’s total market. So even if higher-emitting vehicles have been sold in Northern Ireland, we expect that there would be an incredibly minimal change to greenhouse gas emissions. The data on the number of vehicles is not currently available. I cannot remember who referred to this—I believe it was in a conversation about air quality—but it is worth noting that the regulations cover only carbon. All cars sold must comply with particulate limits, which are obviously the contributor to poor air quality.

Thinking about the administration and enforcement of the regulations, their administration will be very much as the EU procedures are currently, with the exception, of course, that manufacturers will work with the Vehicle Certification Agency, the VCA, as the enforcement body, rather than the EU equivalent. At the moment, data is passed to the DVLA, as it will be in future, then it will get to the VCA, which is the enforcement body for the regulations. Every year, it will process the registration data and calculate the carbon dioxide performance and targets for the previous year for each manufacturer.

Any manufacturer exceeding that target when the dataset is published in October has to pay an excess emissions premium and has 28 days to pay or appeal it. That is what happens for new cars—that is, cars at first registration—but the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, mentioned the Volkswagen emissions issue. The regulations also allow for random verification of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles in service. In this case, it is the DVSA that conducts random testing on new and, sometimes, used cars to ensure compliance. Also, all new vehicles are now required to store that data on board.

Many noble Lords asked me to go far beyond the regulations, and I would not want to steal the thunder of two bits of government activity which are coming very soon. We recognise that the retained carbon dioxide targets are not currently aligned with our commitments to phase out new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, nor, obviously, with the 2035 zero emissions at the tailpipe ambitions. We will be publishing the Green Paper on the UK’s future carbon dioxide regulatory framework very shortly. It will set out the frameworks that we could introduce to transition away from the most polluting vehicles and to support consumers and businesses to make the switch to zero emissions. The second piece of activity is the much more wide-ranging transport decarbonisation plan which will talk about how we decarbonise all modes of transport. I have listened very carefully to the questions in this area but I would not want to steal its thunder, as noble Lords will be seeing that very soon.

The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, noted the Environment Bill. The Government intend to create a regime that will enable manufacturers to recall vehicles and non-road mobile machinery and vehicle components that do not comply with the environmental standards which they are legally required to meet. The Government will be able to set vehicle manufacturers a minimum recall level that they will have to achieve. In the event of the manufacturer refusing to comply with a recall notice or failing to meet the minimum recall level, they can be subject to civil penalties. Under these carbon dioxide regulations, manufacturers can already be issued with substantial financial penalties if they fail to meet their carbon dioxide targets. However, it should be noted that there is no upper limit on carbon dioxide for any particular vehicle. They are being set on a fleet-average basis, meaning that manufacturers can sell some vehicles which produce more emissions than average because there will be others that produce fewer.

I accept that I have not been able to go into detail on some of the questions that I have been asked today. I will be writing, particularly to provide further information around consumers and how we feel the market in Northern Ireland is behaving at the moment, but for the time being, I beg to move.

Motion agreed.

That completes the business before the Grand Committee this afternoon. I remind Members to sanitise their desks and chairs before leaving the Room.

Committee adjourned at 5.22 pm.