JUST THE FACTS

Transportation is responsible for more than 27 per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions. Unless we reverse some of the following trends in vehicle use, transportation emissions will continue to rise. Canadian vehicle ownership per capita is now double what it was in 1960. The number of kilometres driven per capita is now double 1960 levels in Canada. At the same time, freight has shifted from fuel-efficient rail to gas-guzzling trucks. Vehicle fuel efficiency standards have not improved since the mid-1980s. The single biggest source of the massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions in transportation are passenger vehicles - cars and light-duty trucks. The popularity of sports utility vehicles, trucks and minivans, which now account for 50 per cent of new vehicles sales, has had a highly negative impact on average fuel efficiency. The David Suzuki Foundation proposes the following measures to reduce transportation emissions: Improve mandatory fuel economy standards for vehicles to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Gradually introduce tax increases on gasoline and diesel to reflect their real environmental and health costs. European transportation fuels cost two to three times more than Canada's, and consumption is one third less. Over the long term such taxes encourage the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles and reduce unneccesary driving. Tax income should support transportation alternatives such as efficient, convenient transit and bicycle infrastructure while allowing reductions to sales, payroll or income taxes. Strengthen support for public transit, car pool programs, cycling infrastructure and other sustainable transport options. Require a mandatory renewable energy content of five per cent, such as fuel ethanol, to replace some of the gasoline Canadians use. Lower and enforce speed limits to reduce fuel consumption. There is an enormous increase in fuel use at higher speeds. Encourage the movement of freight by rail rather than by road, as rail is much more fuel efficient. Encourage Canadians to consider a hybrid vehicle when buying a new car. The 2004 Toyota Prius, for example, uses just 4.1 litres of gas to travel 100 kilometres, twice the mileage of passenger cars in its class. While fuel cells are touted as the pollution-free power source for automobiles, some fuel cell processes (i.e. those that use fossil fuels to produce hydrogen) result in greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel cells have tremendous potential, but only if their fuel source provides the best options for carbon dioxide reductions. See the Suzuki Foundation's Climate Friendly Hydrogen Fuel Report for more details ^ ^ ^ THE ABOVE EXCERPT IS FROM SUZUKI WEBSITE

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