Britain puts biodiesel on track

Stephen Beard Jun 8, 2007
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Britain puts biodiesel on track

Stephen Beard Jun 8, 2007
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Gordon Brown, who will become Britain’s Prime Minister next month, took a ride on a special train yesterday powered by biodiesel fuel. Brown is calling on all the country’s train operators to switch to biofuels to fight climate change. Stephen Beard is our European Correspondent. I asked him about this new service.

STEPHEN BEARD: It’s a six-month trial service run by Virgin. That’s the company that operates, among other things, the Virgin transatlantic airline. The train is going to run from London to North Wales using an 80-20 mix of diesel and biofuels produced from crops like canola and soy. This fuel will produce the same amount of carbon dioxide as diesel, but the overall emissions will be less because the crops absorb the CO2.

THOMAS: So has Gordon Brown given his blessing to this?

BEARD: Yes, absolutely. More than that he’s agreed that if the trial is a success, he’s going to correct an anomaly and cut the tax on biofuel down to the same level as biodiesel. It’s going to be a pretty significant cut. Brown says if it’s a success there could be further tax breaks, he wants he says, every train in Britain to run on biofuels.

THOMAS: So I’m guessing this is going to be a big boost for the biofuels industry.

BEARD: Well absolutely because here we have the current finance chief who’s going to be prime minister in a couple of weeks’ time. As prime minister will still have his hands on the purse strngs. He’s not famous for his eco-friendly politics and his critics say that actually this is not a serious conversion, this is just another phase in Brown’s chameleon career.

THOMAS: Stephen Beard is our European correspondent, thanks Stephen.

BEARD: Thanks Mark.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Gordon Brown, who will become Britain’s Prime Minister next month, took a ride on a special train yesterday powered by biodiesel fuel. Brown is calling on all the country’s train operators to switch to biofuels to fight climate change. Stephen Beard is our European Correspondent. I asked him about this new service.

STEPHEN BEARD: It’s a six-month trial service run by Virgin. That’s the company that operates, among other things, the Virgin transatlantic airline. The train is going to run from London to North Wales using an 80-20 mix of diesel and biofuels produced from crops like canola and soy. This fuel will produce the same amount of carbon dioxide as diesel, but the overall emissions will be less because the crops absorb the CO2.

THOMAS: So has Gordon Brown given his blessing to this?

BEARD: Yes, absolutely. More than that he’s agreed that if the trial is a success, he’s going to correct an anomaly and cut the tax on biofuel down to the same level as biodiesel. It’s going to be a pretty significant cut. Brown says if it’s a success there could be further tax breaks, he wants he says, every train in Britain to run on biofuels.

THOMAS: So I’m guessing this is going to be a big boost for the biofuels industry.

BEARD: Well absolutely because here we have the current finance chief who’s going to be prime minister in a couple of weeks’ time. As prime minister will still have his hands on the purse strngs. He’s not famous for his eco-friendly politics and his critics say that actually this is not a serious conversion, this is just another phase in Brown’s chameleon career.

THOMAS: Stephen Beard is our European correspondent, thanks Stephen.

BEARD: Thanks Mark.

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