Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Excellent Huhne plan to phase out petrol

Well done to Chris Huhne for highlighting a sensible plan to phase-out petrol as a fuel by 2040.

I was tempted to call this plan "ambitious" and "radical" but it would be wrong to describe it in either of those ways.

It is simply right and realistic.


  1. ......and your alternative is?

  2. Here in detail:

    and here specifically:

    "20 Policy Paper 82
    Within the road transport sector, there are several technologies which can have an
    immediate and short-term impact on reducing vehicle emissions. There are,
    however, a number of barriers to entry, including limited initial demand and high
    capital costs of emerging technologies.
    4.5.2 The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), sets a target for 2010 of 5 per
    cent of all road fuels from suppliers to be provided by biofuels from 2008. However,
    without imports, this is unlikely to be met due to a lack of refinery capacity within the
    UK. Weak targets set by Government for the early stages of the Obligation have
    failed to incentivise the development of the supply chain. Consequently, the
    Government's target for 5 per cent of road transport fuels from renewable sources
    by 2010 may not be met.
    4.5.3 Liberal Democrats would increase the RTFO to require at least 10 per cent of all
    fuel sold on UK forecourts to come from renewable sources by 2015. This would
    require safeguards to ensure that fuels do not come from crops which have
    displaced rainforest and other valuable natural habitats and carbon sinks. Full
    certification is needed. We support a robust certification scheme for all sources of
    biomass and biofuels used within the EU. In the longer-term, second generation
    biofuels, which do not have these concerns, may be able to play an even greater
    role and we would investigate the most appropriate future market mechanisms. A
    combination of agricultural reforms (supported by Liberal Democrats) and increased
    demand through biofuel production will inevitably raise world market prices for
    agricultural commodities. To minimise the risk of food shortages in developing
    countries it will be necessary to adopt policies such as prioritising the aid budget on
    stimulating indigenous food production and avoiding excessive incentives at home
    to convert food crops into biofuels.
    4.5.4 At EU level, there has been a voluntary agreement with manufacturers to reduce
    average emissions for new cars. However, the target for 2008 of 140g/km will not
    be met and current proposals from the Commission set an overall mandatory target
    Zero Carbon Britain – Taking a Global Lead
    of 130g CO2/km by 2012 with an additional 10g CO2/km to be delivered through a
    range of other measures, including biofuels. The Government announced in Budget
    2007 its longer-term objective to reduce average new car emissions to 100g of
    4.5.5 Liberal Democrats would press for the introduction of mandatory requirements to
    limit average emissions from all new cars placed on the EU single market to 120g
    CO2/km by 2015 and 95g CO2/km by 2020 through technical improvements alone.
    We also support a target of zero carbon for all new cars by 2040 and an effective
    system of penalties and incentives to ensure compliance. We will seek to achieve
    further emissions reductions by:
    • Placing pre-approval restrictions on the power of vehicles, to curb the tendency
    towards building fuel-inefficient vehicles.
    • Promoting mandatory fuel economy labelling in all car advertising.
    4.5.6 We would also extend targets to all other vehicles, to ensure that by 2050 all freight
    vehicles are running on electricity, biofuels or other renewable fuels. We would
    focus initially on policies to extend the use of zero-carbon urban delivery vehicles,
    such as those which have been trialled in central London.
    land use change.
    support available."