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I am today publishing the government response to the King review of low-carbon cars. Copies of the report will be available in the House Libraries and a further copy of the report will be available on the Department for Transport website at www.dft.gov.uk.
The Government warmly welcome Professor Kings wide-ranging and comprehensive report, published in two parts in October 2007 and March 2008, which set out the technology options likely to contribute to decarbonising road transport. Professor King made a number of policy recommendations ensuring that government, industry and research communities all contribute to reducing carbon emissions from cars. The response document describes how the Government are taking forward Professor Kings recommendations as part of our wider mission to tackle the climate change impacts of the transport sector. Professor Kings report provides grounds for optimism that major reductions in road transport emissions can be achieved in ways that are technologically feasible, affordable and publicly acceptable.
Professor Kings recommendations have a particular emphasis on technology and removing barriers to behavioural change. There are various recommendations aimed at driving technology change through EU legislation and promoting the research, development or deployment of relevant technologies to reduce the impacts of vehicles throughout their life cycle. We are working on all these areas with a view to seeing a new car fleet average of 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2020a target that will require deployment of a range of technologies such as all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars that hold the promise of ultra-low-carbon private transport.
We intend to seize the opportunities that a low-carbon transport sector represents, thereby helping to reduce the UKs emissions from domestic sources and contributing to meeting our greenhouse gas targets as set out in the Climate Change Bill 2008.
The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is rapidly deteriorating, with an escalating cholera outbreak making an already serious situation much worse. Today I am making available a £10 million package of support to provide life-saving assistance and respond to the escalation of the disease. This support will:provide essential drugs and medical supplies; support the provision of basic health services; and help UNICEF treat cholera cases and prevent further outbreaks.
With a collapsing health system and a population badly weakened by a prolonged food crisis and HIV and AIDS, the threat from cholera is all the more severe. More than 8,000 cases have already been reported, with over 300 deaths, the vast majority of them preventable under normal conditions. Our contribution will be used to provide vital medical supplies and equipment to treat patients, provide clean water supplies, and ensure that front-line health workers are available to treat patients.
The food crisis in Zimbabwe also remains a serious challenge. The UN estimates that five million people will be in need of food aid as we move into the New Year. To date, the UK has provided £9 million to the World Food Programmes appeal. With the results of nutritional surveys in the coming weeks we will, alongside the UN and other donors, monitor closely the need for further contributions.
As the group of elders noted during their recent visit to southern Africa, the need to arrest the humanitarian crisis is now urgent. There is no doubt that this has been caused by a systemic and prolonged failure of policy and leadership in Zimbabwe. Only a political solution and a major change of policy direction by the Government of Zimbabwe can provide what is needed to Zimbabwes people. The international community will continue to support the immediate needs of the Zimbabwean people. With international partners, we stand ready to play our part in Zimbabwes economic and social recovery when the time comes.
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