Fleet News

Government faces new CO2 targets

THE Government has unveiled new targets to reduce carbon emissions from its fleets of vehicles, after Fleet NewsNet discovered earlier this year that most had either missed the previous target or were unaware it existed.

In a set of measures published by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), the Government is aiming to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions for all its road vehicles by 15% by 2010/11.

The SDC, which monitors the Government’s green performance in a number of areas, will report in the autumn on how the first steps towards hitting these figures are going.

The nature of the targets also illustrates a shift in approach. Its previous target aimed to make sure 10% of Government fleets were alternatively-fuelled by the end of March 2006, a figure that Fleet NewsNet exclusively revealed had been missed by more than two-thirds of departments.

Instead, fleets will have to monitor total emissions, requiring a more detailed and analytical approach that has previously appeared lacking.

A spokeswoman for the SDC said: ‘We’re glad to see that the transport target is now outcome-focused, rather than technology- focused.’

However, she called on the Government to take a more holistic approach to its workplace travel. She said: ‘We are disappointed that the target is narrowly focused on road vehicles.

‘In our future performance assessment, we’d like to hear how departments are encouraging walking, cycling and other modes of transport.’

Stewart Whyte, director of consultancy Fleet Audits, said he thought the target was ‘laudable and realistic’ but warned: ‘Crucial to achieving this is the publication in the next six months of baseline figures of 2005/06 emissions and mileages for all vehicles used for Governmental business, whether owned or private.

‘And is the Government going to mandate departments to join its own green fleet scheme Motorvate? The mechanisms to measure, manage and report emissions, fuel use and mileage are already there in their own scheme. It’s a second chance for the Government to show the private sector that it can lead by example.’

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