Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mundo Launch a Success

Last Friday we launched Mundo Cars in the UK. The Alliance is encouraging MEPs and MPs to get involved.

Jean Lambert MEP came and gave a great speech, and even helped us push for new fuel efficient cars.

According to Jean, "Londoners are forced to live with poor air quality on a daily basis and suffer the health effects of road transport pollution. Enough is enough. There is no place for highly polluting cars in London where air quality consistently fails basic EU standards."

"I encourage citizens and politicians to support this campaign for stricter fuel efficiency standards. The car industry should be making use of the full range of technology to make cleaner cars and the Government must support this change by introducing tough targets and penalties for those unwilling to reform."

The car industry is actively blocking meaningful regulations that would make vehicles significantly less costly to run, and that is hurting everyone while oil prices soar. The recent King Review pointed to the fact that although the technology is now available to produce more fuel efficient cars, manufacturers are by and large not doing so.

With fuel prices ever escalating, there is both an economic and an environmental necessity for cleaner cars. For our launch film we interviewed people who were filling their tanks up at fuel stations. They were horrified about how much they have to spend on petrol and all agreed that they would be willing to pay more for a more fuel-efficient car if they would then pay less for fuel. The public are ready for the cars of the future – now the EU and UK Governments must push for stringent CO2 targets.

We are encouraging car manufacturers to think big and be bold – and only when the EU and the UK Government push for stringent fuel efficiency targets will this happen in a creative and radical way.

Mundo Cars is already attracting political support from other MEPs.

Green MEP Caroline Lucas said: “The point is it’s not rocket science. Some cars have the ability to meet the 120g/km standard now so the technology does exist. That’s why the Mundo Cars campaign is so important. It demonstrates what the car of the future could be like. I think it’s an inspiring idea and an inspiring campaign. I urge people to get involved and be part of the solution.”

Robert Evans Labour MEP said, “The time for action on climate change is now. We cannot wait any longer for the effects to be seen across the world and so I urge everyone, public and politicians alike, to support strong targets on C02 emissions from cars. We must do more to discourage the highest carbon producing cars so that we can all tackle climate change before it is too late. Experts suggest the changes might be irreversible in just seven years time."

According to Fiona Hall, Lib Dem MEP, “some 19% of all Europe’s carbon emissions come from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles. Absolute volumes are increasing because there are more cars being put on the road. The vehicles are heavier (up 15% in the past decade) and more powerful (up 28%) even though speed limits have not risen anywhere in Europe. We now need to set mandatory requirements to make a difference. I recently argued that the Commission's proposals did not go far enough and that the regulation should push for average fleet emissions of 120 g/km by 2012 achieved by vehicle improvements alone. Such targets would only be achievable with consequent penalties, which would put pressure on the manufacturers.”

Claude Moraes MEP said “We [Labour MEPs] believe that the car industry has had a long time to clean up its act and while progress has been made it has not been sufficient. Time has come for strict mandatory targets to be put in place as soon as possible.”

The automobile designers are the captains of the ship, not the consumers as they so often suggest. The industry signals the intention and the direction for the car market by their designs. To date they have been designing highly polluting and consuming vehicles. But times are rapidly changing, and we need a whole new evolution in the approach to making and powering a car, and that needs a heroic effort.

Help Mundo push for fuel efficient cars. Join the campaign.