Carbon dioxide levels hit historic mark

Publication date: 10th May 2013

Greenpeace Reveals Environmental Policy Conflict at the Heart of Liberal Democrats

 Activists scale building in minister’s constituency

Greenpeace has this morning released confidential internal policy documents from Transport Minister Norman Baker that shows how he is blocking new legislation to reduce carbon emissions from new cars. The proposed law could save motorists up to £400 per year, and have been proposed by leading Liberal Democrat MEP Fiona Hall.

In the leaked briefing Baker and his officials call for ‘opposing’ a proposal by Liberal Democrat Fiona Hall, who sits on the Industry Research  and Energy (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament, which called for the reduction of CO2 emissions from all new cars to 70g CO2/km for 2025. In the document the minister explains why he wants MEPs to vote against his fellow Lib Dem’s proposal.

Among the other details the internal documents show are:

  • Watering down legislation through introducing so-called ‘Super Credits’ – a loophole which would allow car makers to offset gas guzzling cars by over-counting the EVs they produce. This would have the effect of raising CO2 emissions above the target allowed in the law.
  • Blocking a car emissions target for 2025
  • Advising MEPs to vote against fellow Lib Dems who have proposed a 2025 target

To coincide with the release of the documents at 8am today Greenpeace activists  have scaled a five story building on Lewes High Street, the shopping centre at the heart of his constituency to unfurl a huge advert demanding that Norman Baker takes decisive action to limit carbon emissions . At the same time a second team of activists are greeting commuters with leaflets that explain how the Transport Minister can improve the quality of air, reduce carbon emissions and save drivers £400 a year.

Commenting on today’s action, Sara Ayech Greenpeace campaigner said:

“These documents reveal that there is a split at the heart of the Liberal Democrats over policy to reduce carbon emissions and save motorists money. Norman Baker should follow the progressive political lead of Fiona Hall and support laws that will help the environment, whilst putting an average of £400 a year back into the pockets of hard pressed motorists. “