Monday, January 07, 2008

Car Industry Still Fails to Take CO2 Emissions Seriously

The SMMT announced the 2006 sales weighted figures today for the UK. The figures show that the average emissions have fallen by a mere 1.4% to 164.9g/km

Shocking, but not surprising. This means that 10 years into an 11 year agreement, the average automobile emissions in the UK have fallen by exactly half of what the industry agreed to.

According to Tony Bosworth, senior FoE transport campaigner, “Today’s figures show another year of poor progress in cutting new car emissions. Average emissions have fallen slightly, but nowhere near the levels required and the industry will miss its 2008 emissions target by a mile. Car companies must do much more to tackle climate change, instead of fighting tooth and nail against new EU proposals. What we need is more action and less self-interested lobbying”.

What can we put this failure down to? Lazy engineering, increasingly more powerful engines, continued investment in old 20th century technology, aggressive advertising for large gas-guzzlers...

Meanwhile, in a surprising move, owners of the automotive parts manufacturers are calling for tougher CO2 regulations. Thierry Morin, chairman for the firm Valeo, says that "Valeo has already developed systems capable of reducing current car emissions by 30-40 percent."

Morin said French car makers are ahead of their peers from other countries, notably Germany, on carbon emissions.'If I were them, I would make the most of this advantage,' he said.