Deputy PM announces £69 million green package

A £69m package of domestic measures to tackle pollution and promote cleaner, greener vehicles and fuels was announced today, November 20, 2000 at the International Climate Change Conference in The Hague.

John Prescott, the UK Deputy Prime Minister, said that over the next three years, the UK Government will more than double its annual expenditure on encouraging the use and development of greener cars, which can cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as well as cut the cost of motoring.

This increased funding forms part of a broader Government response to the final report of the Cleaner Vehicles Task Force.

The Task Force was set up by the Government in 1997 to encourage the development, manufacture and purchase of cleaner, more fuel-efficient, quieter and less resource intensive vehicles.

The extra investment for 2001-2004 includes £30m for the ongoing Powershift programme to promote cleaner fuel vehicles delivering air quality benefits. This will support the purchase of around 35,000 vehicles including gas and electric vehicles.

£30m has been earmarked to expand the Cleaner Vehicles Programme to help local authorities meet air quality objectives; and £9m will be made available to support the introduction of technologies such as fuel cell and hybrid vehicles.

In 1998, the Deputy Prime Minister sponsored the launch of the Alternative Traffic in Towns (ALTER) Project at Chester as part of the UK Presidency of the European Council. In February 2001 City and Company leaders will convene at a global launch in Rome.

120 local authorities and half the capitals of Europe are committed through this project to clean renewal of their transport and the introduction of urban clean zones. The project now is moving to cities’ joint buying of clean vehicles, with co-operation from many companies.

‘The package I am announcing today confirms the commitment in our ten-year transport plan to accelerate the take-up of cleaner fuels and cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles,’ said Prescott. ‘It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to tackling the impact of vehicles on air quality and climate change by promoting the best available clean fuels and technologies.’