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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

11 Mar 2010 12:03:03

Emissions in new cars cut substantially on 1997 levels



Emissions in new cars cut substantially on 1997 levels
Carbon dioxide emissions from the average new car fell substantially last year, according to new statistics.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that the average new car sold in 2009 emitted around 149.5g of carbon dioxide per kilometre – which is 5.4 percent down on 2008.

Overall, there has been over a fifth of a reduction (21.2 percent) from the 1997 base level.

On the decrease, Neil Wallis, head of communications for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, said: "There's (been) some very special factors over the last year... which include the recession – people are more focused on cutting driving costs – and... the car scrappage scheme, which was a big incentive for people to buy particularly smaller cars."

However, he added: "If you take away the effects of the recession and the effects of the scrappage scheme, there's still a discernable downward trend – emissions would have fallen anyway without the effect of those factors.

"This is driven partly by European regulation, which is mandating that emissions have to fall over the coming years and there are going to be costs for the industry if they fail to meet those targets."

Other findings in the SMMT report included that the reduction was spread across all makes of car, with much-criticised 4x4s showing the most marked improvement on their 1997 levels.

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