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Transport efficiency is the route to carbon savings

Not fuel duty says FTA. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has responded positively to the Commission for Integrated Transport's (CfIT) new report on carbon emissions from the transport sector. The report rightly highlights the progress made by the logistics sector to contain and reduce carbon dioxide emissions and also highlights that further potential opportunities exist.

The report rejects any return to the Fuel Duty Escalator, arguing that rising world oil prices already influence road user behaviour and lock in savings that have already been made.

The logistics sector continues to focus on four areas of carbon dioxide reduction: improvements to operational efficiency in order to cut vehicle kilometres through, for example reduced empty running and increased payload, an ongoing focus on driver fuel saving techniques, greater use of low carbon modes such as rail and use of fuels with a lower carbon footprint such as biofuels. Steps taken by the logistics sector complement the focus of vehicle manufacturers in improving hgv fuel efficiency whilst at the same time cutting exhaust emissions that affect air quality by 95 per cent.

As a result the UK freight industry is at the forefront of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that total carbon dioxide produced by hgvs has been stable since 1995. This is despite the economy growing by 32 per cent over the period.

For the freight industry, green measures are often the same as lean measures and next week FTA publishes a new manual for carriers and logistics buyers, Carbonfta, which provides a practical resource for individual companies to record, report and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions from transport. This will include software and procedure for recording carbon dioxide saving.

James Hookham, FTA's Managing Director – Policy and Communications said:

'The report's conclusion that the route to carbon savings is not through higher fuel duty is particularly welcome. FTA has long argued that escalating fuel duty robs smaller businesses of much needed cash to invest in efficiency measures. The Commission's recognition of this simple truth goes a long way to helping achieve the efficiency savings that the report identifies'.

The Freight Transport Association represents the interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 200,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight.

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