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Cleaner new cars have saved five million tonnes of CO2 in last decade

SMMT economists have calculated that car makers saved nearly five million tonnes of CO2 in the last ten years – thanks to the development of greener cars.

Average new car CO2 has fallen by 22.6g/km to 167.2g/km since 1997, down by nearly 12 per cent. That equates to current annual CO2 emissions savings approaching a million tonnes (estimated savings based on an average of 10,600 miles per year).

“Car makers have made significant progress in cutting CO2” commented SMMT Chief Executive Christopher Macgowan. “Total CO2 emissions in the UK from cars have actually fallen since 1997, down 3.2 per cent from 72.2 million to 69.9 million tonnes in 2005. That’s despite a 16.5 per cent rise in cars on the road from 26.3 to 30.7 million.”

At the same time the SMMT says that new diesel cars emit 95 per cent less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago; each vehicle made in Britain requires half the energy to produce than it did just five years ago, saving an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year; and waste to landfill per vehicle produced has also been cut by a factor of four, from 66.4 kg in 2001 to 14.5 kg in 2005.

The figures have been revealed as SMMT prepares to launch its Annual CO2 Report for the 2006 market on 6 July. To coincide with publication, SMMT will host a stakeholder breakfast briefing at Forbes House starting at 8.00 am, with presentations and panel discussions, followed by an exhibition of low emission cars.

www.smmt.co.uk