Emissions SMMT News

CO2 exhaust emissions are falling

25 June 2001 #Emissions #SMMT News

Carbon dioxide emissions from new cars in the UK have fallen

by more than three per cent in the last 18 months. Figures from SMMT show that

the average new car sold in this country now emits 178.5 g/km of CO2 compared

to 185 g/km in 1999, a drop of 6.5 g/km.

The UK is committed to a European agreement that will cut carbon

dioxide emissions by 25 per cent by 2008. Falling CO2 in the UK is reflected

across the rest of Europe where average emissions fell by 5 g/km, to 169 g/km

in 2000, according to figures recently released by ACEA*. The industry remains

confident that it will meet the tough targets set for 2008.

While the UK is contributing to the downward CO2 trend, ACEA

has raised concerns about the British government’s fiscal policy towards diesel

vehicles. Diesel cars emit roughly 20 per cent less CO2 than petrol equivalents,

but years of high taxation have seen a decline in UK market share from around

20 per cent in 1995 to 14 per cent in 2000.

One of the key assumptions of the agreement to meet the 25

per cent cut is that CO2 efficient technologies should not be hampered by national

governments. However UK tax penalties, such as the proposed three per cent levy

for diesel cars under the new company car tax system, continue to make diesel

cars less attractive and undermines the hard work being done by manufacturers

to make diesel engines cleaner and more fuel efficient.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘These latest

figures are good news and show that the motor industry in the UK is doing its

bit to meet European carbon dioxide reduction targets. And while we are pleased

that some diesel taxes have been eased, the government needs to do more to help.

It needs to demonstrate that it too is committed to reducing carbon dioxide

emissions by scrapping all diesel penalties.’

Notes to editors:

  1. *ACEA, Association des Constructeurs Europeens d’Automobiles,

    is the umbrella organisation for motor manufacturers in Europe.
  2. In a groundbreaking voluntary agreement ACEA members agreed

    to reduce average new car CO2 emissions across Europe by 25 per cent from

    1995 level to 140 g/km in 2008. The Japanese Car Manufacturers Association

    (JAMA) and Korean Car Makers Association (KAMA) members have signed a similar

    agreement. SMMT has estimated this measure will result in a reduction of 14

    million tonnes of CO2 in the UK, or 3.8 million tonnes of carbon. This would

    represent over 15 per cent of the UK Government’s Kyoto commitment.
  3. Between 1997 and 2001 average CO2 emissions in the UK fell

    from 190 g/km to 178.5 g/km, a drop of six per cent. Across Europe, new car

    CO2 emissions have fallen on average by 2.5 per cent each year since the voluntary

    agreement was made.
  4. In 1997, 6.2 per cent of new cars sold in the UK emitted

    less than 150 g/km of CO2. In the first five months of 2001, this figure had

    reached 24 per cent. The number of new cars with emissions below the 2008

    target of 140 g/km had risen from 3.2 per cent to 8.7 per cent in the same

    period, accounting for more than 92,000 of new car sales so far this year.

Filter News

Update Newsletter