transportation part 3

Car advocates will protest that cars' engines can be made more efficient and that cars themselves provide important convenience for their owners, and jobs for society.

First, improvements in fuel efficiency are more than cancelled out by increases in overall fuel consumption. The problem is the increasing number of vehicles and kilometers travelled. Even the much-touted California standard for new cars — around 41 miles per gallon by 2016 — (presently stalled by a lawsuit by car-makers) will merely stabilize, at current levels, the total GHG emissions from all cars on California roads by 2020. In other words, there will be no reduction in overall GHG levels — just an improvement in the carbon intensity of individual cars.

A far more aggressive European Union proposal would require car-makers to meet a 94 mpg standard by 2025, achieving CO2 emissions per kilometre of 60 grams. But Transport Canada data shows that the GHG emission rate per passenger on a Canadian mass transit vehicle is already significantly lower than the 2025 EU target. Improved occupancy rates in transit vehicles could cut emissions even more.(albert koehl)


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