Blueprint for a low-emission future

* King Report outlines green future * Government is expected to act * Britain will be at forefront of technology...

Blueprint for a low-emission future

Britain is set to take a leading role in reducing emissions from road transport under guidelines set out by a Government-commissioned report published today.

The King Report was ordered by Gordon Brown last year, and given the brief to establish how Britain could reduce its transport-based emissions and play a leading global role in lowering transport emissions. It was undertaken by Professor Julia King, a transport expert, working with Nicholas Stern, an economist.

Although the report only makes recommendations, the fact that it was commissioned by the Government and has been published on Budget day suggests it is likely to be acted upon.

King said: 'My report has a very positive message that major reductions of CO2 emissions from road transport in the years ahead are possible.

'Government must co-ordinate efforts in an international context and provide the leadership to allocate responsibilities among vehicle manufacturers, fuel companies and consumers.'

Recommendations for short- to medium-term action include:

• Accelerating the transfer of existing low-emission technology into showroom cars as quickly as possible.

• Ensuring consumer demand creates a market for low-emission vehicles.

• Moving the short-tem focus of European policy on reducing emissions from biofuels to existing technology.

• Ensuring that further biofuel developments are sustainable, based on a growing understanding of their indirect effects.

• Ensuring that the automotive industry is encouraged to deliver significant improvements in the future.

The report also outlined how Britain can take a leading role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It recommended:

• Encouraging investment in companies developing systems to reduce emissions.

• Collaborating with emerging and developing nations to enable them to introduce affordable low emissions technology at the earliest opportunity.

• Establishing Britain as a leader in key areas of science and engineering relating to low emissions, and as an international voice promoting global solutions.