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Lords hear motor industry concerns on emissions trading

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told a House of Lords inquiry into climate change that the Government risked being ‘over zealous’ in its drive to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Giving evidence to the House of Lords European Union Select Committee inquiry into climate change, the SMMT highlighted its concerns at the ceilings set by the Government for emission levels in the UK, which are much lower than other EU states, despite UK vehicle manufacturers improving energy efficiency by 17.5% since 1995.

Head of communications, economics and policy, Paul Everitt says: “The industry is committed to meeting its environmental responsibilities and we have already made substantial progress in improving energy efficiency in our production facilities.

“The sector operates on an international stage and we must ensure that industry in the UK is not disadvantaged by over zealous implementation. It is essential that there is a level playing field across Europe and that early action by manufacturers to reduce emissions is not penalised.”

The Committee heard evidence from SMMT members, many of which have invested millions of pounds in modern energy-efficient equipment, that now face more stringent emission limits than similar facilities elsewhere in Europe. They also heard that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will increase electricity costs, reducing the scope for further investment in energy-efficiency measures.

The motor industry witnesses were Everitt, Mike Hawes, head of corporate and government affairs, Toyota Motor Europe, Paul Roberts, senior manager, facilities, Honda of the UK Manufacturing and Chris Rogers, head of corporate affairs, Honda Motor Europe.

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