Fleet News

Briefing exposes confusion in Government over green aims

CONFUSED thinking in Government over its environmental aims were exposed in the Budget as several key initiatives could actually increase pollution. Cuts in fuel duty in particular will lead to up to 500,000 more tonnes of carbon being pushed into the atmosphere every year, according to Tony Grayling, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The cuts could also lead to a 1% increase in traffic, while the reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty rates will have 'negligible environmental impact'. Although the Government was attempting to encourage alternative fuels through its Green Fuels Challenge, there were only modest reforms to promote green travel plans. Speaking at the Fleet News Budget Briefing he welcomed the reforms to company car tax as 'genuinely good' for the environment by discouraging high mileage and polluting vehicles, but cuts in lorry VED would encourage freight off the railways and onto the roads.

He added that the Government had to show more commitment, commenting: 'You have to bear in mind that by the middle of the century, you have to cut CO2 emissions worldwide by 50% to avert the worst effects of climate change. We need to cut emissions and start the process that will lead to a sustainable future and if we don't go down that path, our descendants will find it hard to forgive us.'

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