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When this light comes on it is an indication that the engine computer has detected a fault.
It doesn't always mean that is due to emissions but that the fault could affect emissions.
In 99.99% of cases it is ok to drive to the garage to have it looked at without causing other damage.
In a few cases where the light comes on you might find the engine wont start or if it does start it runs poorly. If this is the case then you could cause other damage by driving it.