Carbon emissions up as diesel sales dive

From BBC - February 26, 2018

Drivers shunning diesel cars is partly to blame for a rise in carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles, the car industry trade body.

The 0.8% increase, to 121 grams per kilometre, is the first rise since the SMMT began reporting levels in 2000.

Diesels typically emit up to 20% less CO2 than petrol cars and are more fuel-efficient.

As well as slowing diesel sales, the SMMT said the popularity of SUVs contributed to the rise.

SUVs produce about a quarter more CO2 than the smallest vehicles.

Despite the small increase in carbon emissions last year, new cars now produce a third less CO2 in total than they did in 2000.

New vehicles are much most efficient than older cars, but the 5.7% fall in new registrations to 2.54 million last year shows that drivers are keeping their cars for longer.

The SMMT is calling on the government to offer a consistent approach to sales incentives and tax to encourage drivers to buy in the cleanest cars - and spend more on electric vehicle charging points.

"Meeting the pan-European 2020/2021 new car and van CO2 targets looks ever more challenging, given recent market developments and government policy announcements," the industry body said in its report.

Analysis: By Victoria Fritz, BBC transport correspondent


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