I’ve been on hols again – life is tough when you have kids – and am working my way through the backlog. I find…

Friends of the Earth has a campaign to reduce CO2 emission limits for cars. Apparently:

* In October 2008 the European Parliament is to vote to adopt the European Commission’s proposed regulation on CO2 emission limits.
* The proposed limit for new cars registered in the EU is to be 130g CO2 / km instead of the existing 160g CO2 / km.
* BUT Friends of the Earth believes that 130g / km is not enough and is campaigning for a more restrictive limit of 120g CO2 / km with further reductions to follow, (80g/km in 2020 and 65g/km in 2025)
* To highlight this they have set up a microsite: http://www.forlesspollutingcars.com/ to get people concerned about this to write to their MEPs

So they emailed some friendly bloggers to stir up some interest. They seem to have omitted the irritating content-free flash intro from the microsite, so thats good.

However… my feeling is that this isn’t really going to work. What is going to, and is now, reducing the amount of CO2 emitted by cars is the increases in the price of fuel (and before any greenies start rejoicing about that, the increases in the price are driven by high demand which means that lots of it is being burned). This legislation will only get passed if it doesn’t inconvenience too many people.

Comments

  1. #1 Joseph O'Sullivan
    2008/08/23

    I am uninformed about where global warming legislation is going in the EU, but the more restrictive limits Friends of the Earth are lobbying for might just be a negotiating tactic.

    This is pretty standard in enviro politics. It is in the US at least, but then again FOE isn’t a big player in the US. FOE doesn’t expect to get what its asking for, but maybe will get some results and get the 130 limit lowered.

  2. #2 Justin Wood
    2008/08/24

    “the increases in the price are driven by high demand which means that lots of it is being burned”

    umm, peak oil? yes of course demand is a factor, but production has been flat since 2005. whether the peak is here or not, you can’t simply assume that only demand causes the price of crude to rise.

  3. #3 carl jochen
    2008/08/25

    In America more than 1/4 of all our energy use is for transportation and nearly all of that is from petroleum sources. I would like to see an enclosed and automated national personal transit system powered by solar and wind in the U.S. but the same ideas would be applicable to the E.U. or other national entities. In addition to converting energy use, it would be faster, safer, more efficient, and cheaper than our current road/rail system. The best part is that all of the technology required for such a shift is in use today. For more information and discussion check out my national personal transit blog at npts2020.blogspot.com.

  4. #4 Drbuzz0
    2008/08/26

    Cars and trucks don’t actually contribute as much CO2 emissions as they are made out to be. Sure, they’re a significant source, but really the elephant in the room is coal-fired power plants which are by far the largest source of Co2 and also produce tremendous amounts of mercury, thallium, lead, sulfur emissions etc.

    Gasoline produces as much water as Co2 when it burns and it’s comparatively clean when put next to coal which is absolutely filthy.

    Fossil fuel recovery is also a big source. Underground coal fires are enormous too. Actually they’re larger than all the cars and trucks in North America.

    Also, reducing the CO2 emissions of cars and trucks is a more difficult task and has a longer time to pay off since most of today’s cars will still be with us in ten years and since there is little in the way of a viable alternative at the moment (batteries and fuel cells aren’t quite there economically or practically and they don’t help without a foundational source of energy that is clean)

    The best place to focus on tackling the issue is power generation since it’s a fixed issue with more direct government control to begin with and since it forms the foundation for an electric-centric transit model. It’s also totally possible. Nuclear reactors have proven to be economical and free of Co2. The French are ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to pollution thanks to their wise foresight.

  5. #5 LPG
    2008/08/26

    don’t forget currently available “semi-green option” – LPG, the importance of which is underplayed by the petrol lobby. Show an example and use autogas.