Environmental Audit Committee



Department for Transport needs to accelerate progress to avert climate change

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) today publishes its Ninth Report of Session 2005-06, Reducing Carbon Emissions from Transport. This wide-ranging Report builds on but expands beyond the four reports on aviation published in the last Parliament, to examine and make key recommendations on reducing carbon from every form of transport, but notably road transport.

Tim Yeo, the Chairman of the Committee, commented:

"The Department for Transport has announced some important initiatives, but it needs urgently to accelerate its efforts: transport is the only sector of the UK economy in which carbon emissions have risen consistently since 1990. Air travel in particular is the fastest growing source of CO2, with emissions more than doubling since 1990. Meanwhile, Government measures to cut emissions from transport by 2010 are now projected to be some 0.5MtC below the lower end of the Government's original projections made in 2000. This points to a failure of purpose from the Department for Transport.

"We are concerned that the Department seems to have a fatalistic attitude which sees carbon-intensive activities and economic growth as going hand in hand. The Government should take much more decisive action to shift the balance of affordability in favour of trains, buses, and lower carbon cars and lorries. We strongly recommend that the existing differentials in Vehicle Exercise Duty are widened substantially. These changes could be introduced at once on a revenue-neutral basis, and would reward consumers for making greener choices.

"On aviation, sadly little has changed since EAC's last report. Progress on introducing mechanisms to reduce the growth in aviation emissions is slow, and both the Government and the industry are as intransigent as ever. We urge the Department to widen the terms of its current progress review of the 2003 Future of Aviation White Paper into a fundamental rethink of its airport expansion policy."

Copies of the report can be obtained from TSO outlets and from the Parliamentary Bookshop, 12 Bridge Street, Parliament Square, London SW1A 2JX (020 7219 3890) by quoting House of Commons No 981. The text of the Report will also be available from approximately 3.30pm onwards on its publication date, on the Committee's Internet homepage: www.parliament.uk/eacom

For further information on the report, journalists may phone the Committee's press officer, Laura Kibby, on 020 7219 0718.

Notes for Editors

The report published today by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is its Ninth Report of Session 2005-06, Reducing Carbon Emissions from Transport, HC 981.

Details of all the Committee's press releases together with its Reports, oral evidence and other publications, are available on the Committee's website at: www.parliament.uk/eacom