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Autumn Statement should support ULEVs, not diesels, report says

Responding to Defra’s draft air quality plans, published in September, the Environmental Audit Committee has suggested next week’s Autumn Statement should include tax reforms which classify vehicles based on their nitrogen dioxide emissions, as well as carbon dioxide.

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MP, said: “Despite mounting evidence of the damage diesel fumes do to human health, changes to Vehicle Excise Duty announced in this year’s Budget maintained the focus only on CO2 emissions. This was a missed opportunity to also incentivise vehicles which emit less NO2."

"The Chancellor has the chance to strike a better balance on this next week. The Treasury must use Vehicle Excise Duty to create long-term incentives for drivers to buy cleaner hybrid and electric cars that minimise both CO2 and harmful pollutants.”

The committee also welcomed proposals for a national framework for Clean Air Zones, but added that there must be consistency in terms access them, and that responsibility for air quality mustn’t be shifted too heavily onto local authorities, whose funding has been cut.

Alex Grant

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