Carmakers call for tax breaks for green growth

20th September 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Transport ,
  • Mitigation



The UK's automotive sector needs sustained government support if it is to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a low-carbon market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

As the party conference season begins, the SMMT is calling on MPs and political advisors to back new financial incentives it says are vital to encourage the investment needed to develop low-carbon vehicles.

It launched its campaign yesterday at a meeting with Liberal Democrat MPs and MEPs, including the chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP and former shadow transport minister John Pugh MP.

“Automotive manufacturing can drive UK economic recovery and lead the transition to a low-carbon future if targeted incentives are in place to encourage private sector investment,” argues Paul Everitt, SMMT’s chief executive.

The trade body is meeting representatives from all three main political parties over the coming weeks, and presenting a position paper outlining how government-led measures can ensure investment in low-carbon technologies, research and development and the specialist training needed to decarbonise the sector.

The paper argues for reform of the large company research and development tax credit scheme and says the Green Investment Bank could play a key role in supporting the demonstration and deployment of new low-carbon technology.

It calls on the government to implement more initiatives to encourage the wider uptake of low-carbon vehicles, including exploring whether vans should be included in the government’s plug-in car grant scheme.

“The competition for high-value investment is intense and it is essential the UK does all it can to win its share,” says Everitt. “Targeted tax incentives and support programmes can help trigger the private sector investment needed to kick start growth.”

As the report was released, Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to build a new £355 million factory in Wolverhampton, which will manufacture low-emission petrol and diesel engines.

The SMMT paper is critical of recent government policy decisions, which it says are hindering the UK’s automotive sector’s ability to compete internationally, citing in particular the complexity of the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency scheme and the changes to the feed-in tariff, which it says has discouraged companies from adopting renewable energy technologies at their plants.

In a report published in March, the SMMT revealed that carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles had fallen more than 20% between 2000 and 2010, but it warned that “only sustained and very direct support by governments to incentivise an increased rate of technology development, the roll-out of new infrastructure and greater consumer demand” could increase the pace of change.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close