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The Times: Ban all cars that do under 35mpg, ex-Shell boss says

February 5, 2008
Ben Webster

The former chairman of Shell has called for the European Union to ban the sale of new cars that do under 35 miles to the gallon.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of the coal mining giant Anglo American, said car manufacturers would adapt to cope with stricter rules.

Despite driving a Toyota Prius petrol/electric hybrid, which achieved 65mpg in tests, he was accused of hypocrisy for chairing a company with at least one private jet.

Anglo American said it had a Gulf-stream jet which was used by senior staff, including Sir Mark.

In a BBC interview he said: “We need very tough regulation saying that you can’t drive or build something less than a certain standard. You would be allowed to drive an Aston Martin but only if it did 50-60mpg.”

He said making people with less fuel-efficient cars pay more in road and fuel tax was not the answer and simply let the rich avoid taking responsibility for tackling climate change.

“When we eliminated coal fires in London we didn’t say to people in Chelsea you can pay a bit more and toast your crumpets in front of an open fire; we said nobody – but nobody – could have an open fire.”

Sir Mark said industry had taught him that the market would provide solutions if governments demanded them with enough conviction.

Shane Frith, director of Progressive Vision, the liberal think-tank, said: “If Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is so concerned about climate change he should start by insisting that his own staff and clients never use executive jets and only fly economy class.”

“Seeking to ban a tiny number of luxury cars is a puerile gesture. The immense effort needed to police such a policy would have to include thousands of spot checks of car imports at every EU border.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3308423.ece

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