London, 5 Aug 2002.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Government Plans To Hike Road Tax "Cynical And Unfair"
Government plans to raise vehicle excise duty on 'gas guzzling' 4x4 vehicles to help meet carbon dioxide emission targets are unjustified and unnecessary, says the Association of British Drivers.
Data on vehicle emissions show conclusively that these measures are unnecessary. ABD Environment Spokesman, Bernard Abrams, comments:
"Due to motor manufacturers' efforts, cars now emit far lower amounts of carbon dioxide. As a result, emissions forecasts of over 42 million tonnes of carbon (mTC) by 2020 are already being revised down to 30 mTC or less, a staggering reduction of 30%. Even by 2010 there will have been a significant fall from the 2000 figure of around 41 to 37 mTC, so the proposed car tax hikes are cynical and unfair. 4x4 vehicles are very popular, few are truly gas guzzlers, and extortionate fuel duty already impacts most on those vehicles with high consumption. Plans for hybrid engines in this sector are being ignored."

"The current road tax scheme is based on a sham anyway. 97% of global carbon dioxide emissions is from natural sources, and of the remaining 3%, only one-seventh is from cars. That's 0.4% of the total. If all cars on the planet disappeared overnight, it would be next to impossible to measure any change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The maximum drop would be 0.00015% by volume, and in reality it would be less. Of course, there would be no impact on climate change whatsoever."

With the Government's green flag of convenience in tatters, and car industry eco-successes so evident, the ABD urges the Government to drop plans for any hikes in road tax, and to hold the freeze on fuel duty, or face the anger of 30 million drivers at the ballot box.

Notes for Editors