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11 Mar 2009 05:03:09

Car emissions have dropped says industry



Car emissions have dropped says industry
Car CO2 emissions have dropped at their fastest rate ever, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

New car models on average had CO2 emissions of 158 grams per kilometre (g/km), 4.2 per cent less than in 2007 and 16.8 per cent down on the base level of 1997.

The figure is still short of the EU target of 130g/km, though the drop has reduced cars' share of CO2 emissions to 11.5 per cent, according to the SMMT report.

It claims that this has resulted from new technology, improved fuel consumption and better consumer awareness.

Increasingly there has been a move by consumers to buy 'best in class' cars with lower emissions within their chosen segment.

"The motor industry has made enormous progress in its work to cut the environmental impact of its products but more must be done if the tough targets set by European legislation are to be met," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Maintaining a steady rate of fleet renewal is vital to this success so the recent fall in new car registrations presents more than an economic challenge. Again, we urge government to implement a scrappage incentive scheme to take older, high-emitting cars off the road and boost the new car market."

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative has called for fuel consumption in cars to be cut in half by 2050.

Such a move would result in the saving of two gigatonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of half the EU's current total emissions.

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