Car Travel Cutback Needed to Meet Climate Change Targets, say MPs
The cross-party Science and Technology Select Committee say that in order to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 personal vehicle use should be discouraged. The committee’s report says that technology and the use of cleaner vehicles are not sufficient measures for the goal of net-zero by 2050. It suggested that along with recent climate promises from the government, several gaping policy holes need to be filled and that more clean growth policies are needed.
Other suggestions for emission reduction include stamp duty incentives for energy-efficient homes, the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to be brought forward, and greater use of green technology. “Government action is needed to reverse the current policy trend of cutbacks and slow progress,” said the paper, which highlights the growing gulf between words and actions.
The report said the ban on petrol and diesel car sales should be brought forward to 2035 or sooner, rather than the current goal of 2040. It also suggested that “in the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.”
Current alternatives such as electric cars were also deemed to not be the answer because of the high emissions needed to manufacture them. There is also more research needed into the environmental impact of electric batteries. The use of hydrogen as a form of energy for transport still holds both pros and cons. Whilst it has no emissions other than water vapour, is very expensive to transport and there is no infrastructure in place yet. Currently hydrogen fuel is made from nonrenewable natural gas in a process that creates enormous CO2 emissions.
Author Nick Witts
PR, Media & Communications – Climate Specialist at Treasure Earth Prize