Memorandum submitted by the Department
A. what progress the DfT is making against
key carbon reduction targets or forecasts included in the Ten
Year Plan (2000), the Climate Change Strategy (2000), the 2004
Transport White Paper, the 2004 PSA, Powering Future Vehicles
(2004), and other documents;
1. DEFRA, DfT and DTI share responsibility
for delivering the cross-sectoral PSA targets on climate change.
This commits the UK to working towards both the Kyoto target and
the significantly harder domestic target.
Kyoto target: reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by 12.5% by 2008-12 over 1990 levels.
Domestic target: reduce CO2
emissions by 20% by 2010 over 1990 levels.
2. As things stand, the UK is on track to
meet its greenhouse gas Kyoto commitment by a clear margin. The
self-imposed domestic target of a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide
emissions by 2010 is challenging, but the Government remains committed
to it. Through the Climate Change Programme Review (CCPR), which
will be published shortly, the Government has been investigating
ways of meeting that target.
B. whether the DfT's carbon reduction target
is underpinned by a coherent strategy stretching across the department's
entire range of activities;
The DfT aims to strike the right balance between
delivering carbon savings and respecting people's need to travel.
We are working across the Department's entire range of activities
(1) reduce the fossil carbon content of transport
For example, under the Renewable Transport Fuel
Obligation (RTFO), announced in November 2005, 5% of transport
fuel sold in the UK will have to come from renewable sources by
2010. This will deliver a net carbon saving of one million tonnes,
equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.
(2) increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles
For example, by linking both the company car
tax system and Vehicle Excise Duty on carbon emissions, the Government
encourages drivers to choose fuel-efficient cars.
(3) encourage a move towards more environmentally
friendly forms of transport
For example, the Government supports a range
of measures, called "Smarter Choices" aimed at helping
people make sustainable travel choices. These measures include
workplace, school and residential travel planning, and better
public transport information.
(4) work towards the inclusion of transport
in emissions trading schemes
For example, the UK has made major progress on
including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. On 22 February
2006 the Secretaries of State for Transport, Trade and Industry
and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs sent a joint letter
to the Vice Presidents Barrot and Verheugen and Commissioner Dimas
of the European Commission, asking them to consider the inclusion
of emissions from surface transport in the scheme and offering
the Government's active contribution to that work.
C. whether the current balance of expenditure
between the DfT's objectives (as revealed in its 2005 departmental
report, Annex A) adequately reflects the environmental challenges
it faces (see note 3);
The DfT's approach is to integrate environmental
thinking across the Department's entire range of activities. This
is reflected in the public expenditure tables published in Annex
A of the 2005 departmental report.
The spending listed under the heading of PSA
Objective 3 does not include the money spent by the Department
on activities such as encouraging public transport, which help
limit the impact of transport on the environment as well as having
social and economic benefits.
The tables show the money spent by DfT, not
the results delivered. Fiscal incentives and voluntary agreements
with manufacturers are amongst our most effective tools for cutting
carbon emissions from transport.
D. what realistically the DfT could achieve
by 2010 and 2020 in terms of reducing transport-related carbon
emissions, and the role that demand management should play in
doing so and
E. what specific steps the department should
now take to reduce road transport carbon emissions and congestion
over the next decade.
In a growing economy the demand for transport
fuel grows faster than the demand for other kinds of fuel, and
so transport's share of total emissions is likely to increase.
This is what is happening in the UK.
The Government's approach is to look for the
most cost-effective and practical savings across the whole of
the economy. DfT is an active participant in this process and
is fully engaged with the Climate Change Programme Review.
Looking beyond 2010, we are working with the
Energy Review to reduce emissions from vehicles and fuels, encourage
more environmentally friendly forms of transport, and support
emissions trading. We are working with the Stern Review to consider
how to design policies to bring forward new clean fuels and technologies
in transport, and how to adapt the transport infrastructure to
deal with the effects of climate change.
In the Future of Transport white paper,
the DfT recognised the importance of managing the growing demand
for transport. We noted that while additional infrastructure will
be necessary, simply providing ever more capacity is not the answer
in the long term, because the damage to our environment, landscape,
towns and cities and our quality of life would be unacceptable.
Therefore we are developing an approach where
road pricing could be progressively introduced in the UK by asking
local authorities to come forward with road pricing schemes which
tackle congestion, to be funded from the Transport Innovation
Fund. Persuading a small percentage of drivers to travel at a
different time or place could significantly reduce urban congestion.
F. whether the targets set out in the Powering
Future Vehicles Strategy were adequate and what progress has been
made against them since 2002;
Annual progress reports on Powering Future Vehicles
are available on the DfT Website and a review of the Strategy
is currently underway.
In the meantime, it is worth noting that the
Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership's colour-coded fuel efficiency
labels for new cars are now on display in most UK showrooms. These
are directly linked to the graduated Vehicle Excise Duty bands.
The Government Car and Despatch Agency now has
a fleet of over 20 hybrid vehicles and we will offset CO2
emissions from central Government air travel from April 2006.
G. what organisations and funding sources
are involved, whether there is adequate coordination between them,
and whether the overall funding available and spent in support
of the strategy is adequate in view of the environmental challenges
DfT is facing.
The organisations most directly involved with
Powering Future Vehicles are the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership
(LowCVP), the Energy Saving Trust (EST), DfT, DTI and HMT.
The LowCVP brings together Government, industry
and other stakeholders to work towards low carbon vehicles and
fuels. It receives around £0.5 million of baseline funding
each year from DfT and DTI, and receives additional funding from
both these Departments and from DEFRA where appropriate.
DfT also funds the EST to deliver a range of
grant and advice programmes. A number of these are currently suspended
and under review because of concerns about their compatibility
with European State Aid rules.
DfT holds regular meetings with all the above
organisations and the LowCVP co-ordinates work between Government
and industry stakeholders.
LAST EAC INQUIRY
We have made considerable progress since the
Committee's eleventh report of Session 2003-04.
We believe that a well-designed emissions trading
regime is the fairest and most efficient way to ensure that the
aviation sector reduces its emissions and during our recent Presidency
of the European Union we therefore made including aviation in
the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) a priority.
As a result the Commission recommended emissions
trading as the best way forward and, under our chairmanship, the
December 2005 EU Environment Council urged the Commission to produce
a legislative proposal by the end of 2006.
The European Commission is now taking forward
work to consider the details of including aviation in the EU-ETS.
The UK remains closely involved and continues to work with stakeholders
to seek opinion and to broaden support.