Currently reading: Government body calls for car tax hike to help cut emissions
Committee on Climate Change recommends significant measures to help the UK achieve net zero emissions by 2050
Felix Page Autocar writer
3 mins read
25 June 2020

An independent group of government advisors has called for tax rates for conventionally fuelled cars to be increased to help raise money to fund climate change initiatives.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent public body formed in 2008 following the Climate Change Act, has called for the action in its latest progress report on the UK's 'Road to Zero' strategy. It has also restated its previous call for the government to bring forward the proposed ban on combustion-engined new car sales from 2035 to 2032.

The CCC believes the measures are needed to help the government achieve its goal of the UK achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. It says that should be achieved by reducing traffic levels and facilitating the mass rollout of low-carbon vehicles (LCVs).

The report claims higher taxes on carbon emissions could be introduced while fuel prices are currently low following the coronavirus pandemic to minimise the effect on drivers: “Greater use of carbon taxes can support the public finances and strengthen incentives to reduce emissions. They are particularly attractive when global oil prices, and therefore consumers' energy costs, are low, as they are now.”

Alongside an increase for higher-emissions vehicles, the CCC recommends that the Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) system could be overhauled to make LCV ownership more appealing. It added that the government’s plans to expand the UK’s EV charging network are in line with its net zero ambitions but should be delivered now. 

The CCC claims that, in order to meet the 2050 deadline, sales of new combustion-engined cars must stop within the next 12 years: “There should be a rising mandate for car companies to sell a minimum share of zero-emissions vehicles, reaching 100% by 2032 at the latest.”

The government is currently consulting on its plans to ban the sale of non-zero-emission cars and vans by 2035 or earlier, with an online consultation process open until 31 July. 

The CCC said: “The UK government is consulting on bringing forward the date for phasing out petrol and diesel cars and vans (including hybrids) from 2040 to 2035 or earlier, in line with the Committee's advice. The Committee's assessment is that the date should be brought forward to 2032 at the latest, and backed by detailed policy arrangements to deliver it.”

It added: “Initial steps towards a net-zero policy package have been taken, but this was not the year of policy progress that the Committee called for in 2019.

“There were important new announcements on transport, buildings, industry, energy supply, agriculture and land use. But these steps do not yet measure up to meet the size of the net zero challenge and we are not making adequate progress in preparing for climate change.”


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The CCC also says the government should “reduce demand for higher-carbon travel” by encouraging walking, cycling and using public transport, as well as promoting homeworking by “prioritising broadband investments over road network expansion”.

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the UK’s emissions forecasts for 2020, with sharp drops in road and public transport usage during the lockdown from March to June, which, the CCC says, is an opportunity to implement permanent change: “The Covid-19 pandemic is already changing how people travel, and provides an opportunity to encourage sustainable behaviours such as working from home and active travel.”

In December, the body will publish a comprehensive pathway to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, which will influence the government’s sixth ‘carbon budget’ for 2033-2037, to be legislated by June 2021. 


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25 June 2020
Tax the poor off the road and leave it for the new Bentley Boys..

So much for levelling up!

25 June 2020
NavalReserve wrote:

Tax the poor off the road and leave it for the new Bentley Boys.. So much for levelling up!


What a STUPID STUPID Comment, especially as Bentley does not make an EV, and you can buy a full EV for well under £20k, you can even get one for under £10k, so you cna get a Full EV for less than a Corsa or Fiesta.I DO NOT agree with the removal of the ICE powered cars, the cost to do this would be prohibitive, it would cost the UK Government billions, as they would need to build a dozen new power stations just to keep things at the level they are now, and we are buying shed loads of electricity from Europe.Also, EV's are not environmentally friendly, from the work required to locate, dig up and process all the metals for the batteries, then the building of these batteries, transportation, and the extra cost from the car companies to build the cars to take these battery packs, and the work required to dispose of these packs when they reach the end of their natural lives, which is at current rates, less than ICE engines.PLUS - what happens to all these ICE cars that are being run when the UK stpos the sale of them, the values will plummet, a £50k car on monday this week will be worth £50k, but next monday, after the EV change over, it would most probably be worth £10k, if that, meaning that everyone with these cars will be hit hard.What about all the classic and vintage cars, will they be banned from the roads, or ran off the roads becuase of a lack of fuel to transport them, what about the garages that currently supply fuel, what will happen to them and all those workers, tens of thousands of them, if not more, the same garages that would all be out of business over time as they would not be able to repair electric cars, because they would be totally monopolised by the brands, meaning more costs for all drivers.It is time that the entire system is looked at, the total cost, and the impact of the removal of ICE cars as opposed to the building of EV ones, not just cost, but impact too, from build and construction of all parts, and how these parts are made, and materials obtained to the running of them and the cost to everyone.... i suspect that EV will come out far far worse.

25 June 2020
Disagree with you saying stupid comment as it will tax the poor off the road and the Bentley owners are wealthy enough to afford the new higher tax, so Naval reserve has a point.
Yes you can get used EVs for under £10k but a lot have seriously reduced ranges, I looked at a few nissan leafs close to my budget, little else is, and they have lost battery life (bars on the battery charge indicator) and have a subsequent range of around 50-60 miles.
Totally agree re the rest, EVs may be environmentally friendly for local pollution but not global, surely keeping an olde ice on the road is preferable to building a new EV?

25 June 2020

Looked up this Committee's Terms of Reference. It seems to be the equivalent of picking a jury from a group of people who have filled in a questionnaire saying they believe the accused is guilty, before the trial. What a stitch up!

Anyone want to join my "Committee to prove global warming is caused by the hot air released by politicians"?

25 June 2020

The report states increase the level of taxation whilst fuel prices and energy demand are low during the pandemic, does that mean the level will decrease once demand goes up? I dont think it will, and the other problem is, as more people have started to return to work, fuel prices have already risen, as much as 10p a litre within the last couple of weeks. 

Its all a con as NavalReserve states to tax the poor off the road, as for London, a recent article by Mike Rutherford has highlighted just how expesive it can now be to travel in London by car, over £100 a day in charges.  Scrapping HS2 would raise far more money, who really want to travel to Birmingham 20 minutes faster? 

25 June 2020

So, with the state of our public transport network being mostly fossil fuelled and unreachable in much of rural UK a move away from all forms of fossil fuelled vehicles in a short time scale to expensive BEVs (and alternatives) will lead the poorer members of society to be stuck where they live - I'm sure my early history lessons taught me about a society very much like that from several hundred years ago. Is that really what we want? We need huge investment in the entire public transport infrastructure, electric charging infrastructure and the national grid not just focussed investment on single benefit projects like HS2. Or perhaps we're to all end up like the sci-fi movies in megacities with the rural regions a wasteland.

I also read Mike Rutherford's article about a day of costs in London and to be honest I laughed at his £100/day costs. Let's be honest, if you can't manage to find somewhere to park in London for less than £75/day then you deserve to be paying that. Even the most expensive space in a Mayfair NCP only costs £58 all day and it's possible to pay a lot less than that. Mike Rutherford seems to be too far on the side of the motorist with these scare stories and certainly not providing the kind of balanced journalism that I would pay any attention to. I agree totally that motorists are very unfairly penalised but I don't see his kind of "rants" being helpful to those of us who really do need a car that is both affordable to buy and use and capable of travelling more than 300 miles in a day.

25 June 2020

It's amazing that this fraud, hoax, scam has been running for so long, over 40 years, and is believed by millions and millions of otherwise-intelligent people.

Apparently, the world has increased in temperature by one centigrade degree over the last 140 years, it's all our fault, the effects of this warming are all bad, and unless you all pay loads and loads of extra tax and give up travelling on cars, buses or aeroplanes, we'll all be dead in ten more years.

Well, I'm sorry, but I just don't believe it.


25 June 2020

Dealing with Climate change, you might be able to take the public along with you if it doesnt cost them anything. They wont mind too much while they think it will cost others more either, but as soon as the public in general realise just how much these people want to take off them for driving, heating their homes, flying etc, its going to be very hard to get popular support.


25 June 2020
Can you tell me where the climate is changing? There's been no change in the climate over the last 50 years where I live, that's in my lifetime, and none in the last 100 years according to temperature records I have seen.

26 June 2020
Adrian Barlow wrote:

Can you tell me where the climate is changing?

More or less everywhere.  Not sure where you live.

Google, do you speak it?


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