Global warming - the real cost of fuel?

Last edited 15 June 2004 at 8:00am

Our message takes to the streets of Edinburgh

Greenpeace today challenged lorry drivers protesting in Edinburgh about fuel price rises by sending vans emblazoned with the message 'Global warming kills - keep the fuel tax' to join their convoy.

"Fuel tax is actually a fair tax because the polluter pays" said Rob Gueterbock, Greenpeace climate campaigner, "It taxes everyone who uses it by the amount they use it.

"These lorry drivers are wrong to call for the government to cut the tax. Global warming is the biggest threat to mankind and is already killing tens of thousands of people every year and devastating the lives of millions of others. The financial cost will run into billions. We need fuel taxes as a vital part of the fight against global warming.

Recent World Health Organisation figures suggest that 160,000 people die every year as a result of floods, droughts, storms and disease caused by the climate change which has resulted from our dependence on fossil fuels. We must reduce our dependence or these figures will increase dramatically.

Cheaper fuel costs = more fuel used
"Cheaper fuel means we use more fuel. Overall the real cost of motoring is the same as it was 20 years ago," said Rob. "The government needs to send us all a signal that fuel is going to get more expensive over the next decade or so. Only then will people cut down on their car use, manufacturers mass produce green cars, oil companies sell us green fuels and policy makers sort out public transport."

Greenpeace is asking the Government to send a clear signal that the price of oil-based petrol and diesel will increase steadily, and to make plant-based biodiesels and road fuel gas much more widely available on the forecourts. Any existing diesel engine can run on biodiesel without modification, and most vehicles can be converted to run on road fuel gases. The road haulage industry should lead the way to the future hydrogen economy. Within 10 years our road haulage fleet could and should be running on hydrogen.



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