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Page added on October 30, 2007

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Transport growth will not increase emissions, government claims

The road, rail and air networks of Britain can all be greatly expanded without undermining Britain’s commitment to reducing climate change emissions, a government report claims.

The “pro-green, pro-growth” discussion paper launched today by the transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, wants to see a new high-speed rail linking London, Birmingham and Manchester, wider motorways, congestion charging in more cities, and bigger sea and air ports.

It argues that forcing the pace of technological change is the best way to ensure that transport helps Britain meet its goal of a 60% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050. At the moment the transport sector is responsible for 23% of CO2 emissions and its share is rising the fastest.

The paper says that a new generation of cars, improved fuels and renewable energy to drive electric vehicles could eventually almost completely “decarbonise” the road transport economy. More contentiously, it argued that airport expansions in south-east England should go ahead and that aircraft emissions could effectively be held at 2004-05 levels with the European emission trading scheme.


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