TRYING TO CURB POLLUTION: Car exhaust emissions are under the spotlight again with a bold new move in the UK to clean up the atmosphere. Image: Shutterstock.
LONDON, England - The South African government is trying to cut vehicle emissions by taxing vehicle emissions - the bigger the car, the more the tax added at purchase.
Big business, however, gets away with fouling the atmosphere with the permission of the same government.
The SA Revenue Service (the taxman) has published guidelines to influence “the composition of South Africa’s vehicle fleet to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly". Hence the emissions tax on new vehicles.
Meanwhile, ANC environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa announced in February 2015 that several companies - Eskom among them - would NOT have to comply with minimum emissions standards and was promptly widely condemned by environmental groups.
Perhaps more enlightened, from London, England, comes a report that 12 British cities/authorities have been shortlisted "to become international beacons of ultra-low emissions vehicle use". And that means heavy money from the state to help them along...
They are bidding for a share of a fund worth the equivalent of R1.2-billion to become "centres of excellence for low-emission vehicles", a windfall recently announced by British transport minister Baroness Kramer and business minister Matt Hancock.
The Go Ultra-Low city scheme will reward cities which demonstrate the most potential to become internationally outstanding examples for the adoption of ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) in a local area.
The funding has been announced alongside the equivalent of an additional R549-million to enable local authorities and bus operators to replace existing vehicles with greener alternatives to help clean up urban air.
Kramer said: "This funding is an unequivocal signal from the government that we are committed to making ultra-low emissions vehicles a practical and viable choice for more people.
“The shortlist of 12 Go Ultra Low cities is an important part of our effort to improve air quality and establish the UK as a global leader in the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. The additional investment in low-emissions buses is also a fantastic opportunity for local authorities who want innovative, cost-efficient, public transport.
“This can help to transform people’s quality of life in their cities and build a stronger economy and is an important step towards our 2050 vision, when almost every car and van in the UK will be an ultra low-emission vehicle.”
Hancock said: "The government is working hand in hand with business to increase the uptake of electric vehicles across the country. This investment will improve local air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and create growth opportunities for firms who develop and manufacture this kind of technology."
The 12 shortlisted cities and authorities are:Greater London Authority
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
North East Combined Authority
City of York Council
West of England
Dundee City Council
Sheffield City Council
Milton Keynes Council
Department for Regional Development of Northern Ireland
Oxford City Council
Nottingham City Council
Leicester City Council
The Go Ultra-Low campaign aims to increase consumer and fleet uptake of ULEVs. Seven major vehicle manufacturers and the government are backing Go Ultra-Low to highlight the increasing variety and benefits of ULEVs.
Comprehensive information about these vehicles is available at GoUltraLow.com