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Environmental lobby ignoring the big picture, says SMMT

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has reacted with concern over a Friends of the Earth statement, calling for massive increases in tax on 4x4 vehicles, whilst seemingly refusing to participate in the nuclear debate.

The SMMT said Friends of the Earth, and fellow lobbyists Greenpeace, 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 carbon dioxide emissions from the largest source of man-made carbon dioxide – the energy industries. At the moment, this accounts for around 38% of total output, compared to 22% for road transport.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: “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 4x4 and SUV vehicles, is quite wrong.

“A full and informed debate on all efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions across all industries would best serve the environment in the medium and long term.”

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