Fuel taxes and beyond : UK transport and climate change

The starting point for this report is climate change, and strategies to tackle it. Transport is one of the fastest growing sources of emissions – especially carbon dioxide (CO2) – contributing to climate change. Scientific advice, notably from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, Houghton et al, 1990) and, more recently, from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP 2000), is that, to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, emissions need to be cut to 40 per cent of their 1990 level by 2050. This report assumes that the transport sector will need to contribute a proportionate cut, and explains how this might best be done. Its focus is surface transport, since the issues and implications of aviation emissions are very different and will need to be addressed through different policy levers.