New analysis by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) have stated zero-emission vehicles need to achieve a dominant market share by approximately 2035 for the globe to meet the Paris Agreement’s lower warming limit of 1.5˚C.
Even this figure could be too late to avoid the need for significant negative emissions. This transformation of the passenger transport sector would also have to be accompanied by a decarbonisation of the power sector to ensure the electric vehicles (EV) are truly emissions free.
In the first of its decarbonisation series, the CAT analysis looks at transport, a sector that is key to achieving the deep cuts in emissions required by the Paris Agreement.
In this series the CAT will examine specific energy-intensive sectors, and how emissions can be reduced to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s long term warming limits, namely, to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2˚C, and to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5˚C.
The CAT’s latest analysis shows that if governments were to double fuel economy standards in new passenger cars by 2030, and achieve a 50% EV uptake by 2050, then most get close to—or even reach—a 2˚C warming pathway. But a 1.5˚C pathway requires more action.
“Emissions standards only get the transport fleet to a certain point—it is clear that in order to get to the Paris Agreement’s lower temperature goal of 1.5˚C, the world needs to make a paradigm shift to zero emissions vehicles,” said Markus Hagemann of NewClimate Institute.
Attention must also be paid to the recent discovery that some car manufacturers have been deliberately manipulating emissions tests.
“Perhaps a positive outcome of this scandal is that it has brought to light major shortcomings in the emissions tests themselves, sparking a move towards more realistic tests, hopefully leading to smaller discrepancies between laboratory and road emissions intensities.”
“Aside from much-needed shifts in transport behaviour, for the transport sector to decarbonise there is no choice but to adopt zero-emission vehicles. For electric vehicles this would mean that they also need to be powered by renewable electricity,” said Yvonne Deng of Ecofys.
To avoid exceeding a 1.5°C warming trajectory, zero global aggregate emissions would need to be reached around the middle of the century, implying that the last fossil gasoline or diesel-powered passenger vehicle would have to be sold around 2035 (assuming a new car would be on the road for an average of 15 years).
“Even a date of 2035 or so for the last new fossil-fuel powered passenger car could be late: the earlier we decarbonise the transport system, the less we will need to rely on negative emissions that largely require technologies still awaiting large-scale deployment,” said Michiel Schaeffer of Climate Analytics.
The analysis looks at two scenarios comparing a range of big emitters: the EU, China, US, Japan, India, Mexico and Brazil. Scenario 1 would see a doubling of new car fuel economy standards by 2030, and Scenario 2 a doubling of new car fuel economy standards by 2030, plus 50% (zero emission) EV’s by 2050.
· In the EU and the USA, the increased deployment of EVs would keep overall emissions on a downward trend in line with a 2°C pathway.
· In India, the projected rise in vehicle numbers (activity) is so high that absolute emissions from passenger cars would keep rising even under Scenario 2. However, this would still be in line with the IEA’s 2°C pathway for India, which foresees a similar rise in emissions, reflecting this strong expected growth.
· The situation in China, Brazil and Mexico lies between these two cases, with emissions under Scenario 2 stabilising as the effects of increased activity and reduced intensity approximately balance out. The resulting decreasing emissions trend is just enough to comply with a 2°C pathway.
· Overall emissions are expected to decrease most strongly in Japan (in both scenarios), partly due to declining activity levels.
Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family
When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?
What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?
As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.
Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.
5 Good Options
As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:
1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country
Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.
2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.
3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.
4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.
5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel
If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?
Putting it All Together
You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.
You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.
How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life
Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense. But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?
For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out. A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession. This bigger issue was that of climate change. And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.
Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more. He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland. There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.
The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done. With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet. The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind. As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness. The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small. The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty. As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.
We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help. And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet. Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change. You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed. But so is he. Every change starts with one.
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