SOURCE: The Guardian

DATE: February 27, 2020

SNIP: New cars sold in the UK produce more carbon dioxide than older models, according to new research that suggests the industry is going backwards in tackling the climate crisis.

Cars that reach the latest standards of emissions use cleaner internal combustion engine technology to combat air pollution, but the relentless rise in demand for bigger, heavier models meant that average emissions of the greenhouse gas rose, according to the consumer group Which?.

The latest generation of cars produced 7% more emissions than those manufactured to earlier standards, testing of 292 models released in the UK since 2017 found. Cars account for just over 18% of UK emissions, according to government figures, and reining back pollution from the sector is seen as crucial to efforts to cut the country’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Lisa Barber, editor of Which? magazine, said: “It is shocking to see our tests uncover increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions for the latest cars that are being built and sold to UK consumers.

Overall, cars that met the latest emissions regulations (standards known as Euro 6d and Euro 6d-temp) produced 162.1g of CO2 per kilometre, 10.5g more than those in the previous generation (Euro 6b and Euro 6c).

That was far above the 95g target carmakers must meet across all EU sales in order to avoid steep fines.

The Which? analysis found that carbon emissions were rising across every segment of the car market, from smaller city cars through to SUVs, as manufacturers packed more technology into their cars. Emissions rose fastest in the hybrid segment, up by 31% between generations, in part because of the weight of two different power sources.