Representatives from the aviation, shipping, haulage and construction industries met with Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey and Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick as part of the government’s call for evidence on red diesel.
Launched in May, the call for evidence is seeking views on whether red diesel for non-road mobile machinery discourages the purchase of cleaner alternatives. It forms part of the government’s world-leading Clean Air Strategy – currently out for consultation – which aims to cut air pollution from all sources.
Red diesel, the fuel used by non-road mobile machinery gets different tax treatment to the diesel used in cars and vans. But it still produces the same nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas that inflames the lining of the lungs.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
This week Robert Jenrick and I met industry representatives to hear what they are doing to improve air quality.
With red diesel accounting for 15% of all diesel consumption in the UK, industry has a key role to play in reducing the harmful emissions. We must all play our part in looking after the environment and cleaning up our air.
Although it is often thought red diesel is mainly used in the agricultural sector, 75% of it is used across a range of other industries, including rail, shipping and in construction, mining and airport support vehicles. It also costs the public purse £2.4 billion each year, compared to if duty was charged at the main rate.
The Call for Evidence closes on 24 July 2018. Red diesel used for agricultural purposes and for fishing vessels is not in the scope of the call for evidence.