Fuel policy fails to dispel green fears

The government has taken flak from environmental groups for failing to take enough action to encourage greener cars.

Last week the Department for Transport (DfT) unveiled a renewable transport fuels obligation. This would require oil companies and importers to ensure that a growing proportion of fuel sales come from renewable sources, rising to five per cent by 2010.

The biofuels could come from wheat, waste or hydrogen, the DfT suggested.

Transport secretary Alistair Darling said the move will save one million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2010.

Friends of the Earth transport campaigner Tony Bosworth said he is delighted to see the government supporting biofuel. But he stressed that transport emissions will rise by 2.1 million tonnes by 2015, wiping out savings from the renewable fuels obligation.

The Town and Country Planning Association welcomed the obligation but called for higher targets, noting that the EU is pursuing an 8.2 per cent biofuels market share by 2010. Transport 2000 said that the government should put more pressure on car manufacturers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.

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