SMMT News UK Manufacturing

Green lobby ignores bigger picture on CO2 emissions

02 December 2005 #SMMT News #UK Manufacturing

SMMT has reacted with concern over a Friends of the Earth statement, calling for massive increases in tax on 4×4 vehicles, while seemingly refusing to participate in the nuclear debate.



Friends of the Earth, and fellow lobbyists Greenpeace, have made their anti-nuclear position clear before a full and informed debate on the nuclear option. Yet a statement released by Friends of the Earth has urged Chancellor Gordon Brown to take more action to reduce the threat of climate change.



Nuclear power has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions significantly from the largest source of man-made carbon dioxide – the energy industries. At the moment, this accounts for around 38 per cent of total output, compared to 22 per cent for road transport.



SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘Nuclear power may or may not be the way forward in terms of energy policy. However, to adopt a "no thanks" policy with its echoes from the cold war era, while berating drivers of 4×4 and SUV vehicles, is quite wrong. A full and informed debate on all efforts to cut CO2 across all industries would best serve the environment in the medium and long term.’



According to the BBC, Friends of the Earth and Green Party members are today targeting 4×4 drivers in Norwich, handing out ‘parking tickets’ in a protest over air quality.



Yet, once again, protestors are ignoring the facts. As well as average CO2 reductions of around 15 per cent in six years, a modern 4×4 diesel emits just seven per cent of the particulate emissions of a 15 year old saloon. Similarly on air quality NOx emissions, standards for the latest Euro 4 petrol 4x4s are six times as tight as those for a Euro 2 saloon, some of which are as little as five years old.



Will Friends of the Earth and Green Party members be ticketing drivers of older, more polluting saloons, estates and small cars?

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