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According to a 15-month long study conducted in part by the European Commission, Europe's transportation sector could feasibly cut its greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by a resounding 89 percent by 2050. While the study concludes that the EU could cut emissions by nearly 90 percent, it's almost impossible that this will actually happen. It's not that the study is inaccurate, it's just that many of the targets cited are far from obtainable without drastic changes to transportation as we now know it.

For example, the study shows that technical advancements such as doubling the efficiency of biofuels, replacing virtually all gasoline-powered vehicles with models that run on electric power and modifying the existing gas engines that remain in use would only lead to an emissions reduction of 36 percent over levels recorded in 1990. Getting that additional 53 percent reduction would require lowering speed limits, a thorough reworking of the layout of cities to focus on better vehicle flow, removing any subsidies for highly polluting fuels and possibly even eliminating shipping and aviation in the area. Obviously, this is not going to happen soon, but the EU Commission warns that failure to act upon its recommendation will result in emissions ballooning by 2050 to 25 percent over today's levels and 74 percent above the marks set in 1990. Just something to think about as we seek additional ways to ward off ever-increasing emissions worldwide.

[Source: Reuters, EU Transport | Image: Simone Ramella - C.C. License 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      How exactly do you, "double the efficiency of biofuels"???

      I thought efficiency was a metric that applied to the energy conversion system... not the storage medium.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Double the energy density perhaps?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Throwback 7:57PM (6/16/2010)

      If all the cars are EVs, why reduce the speeds?

      -

      Because they're looking at energy generation used to fuel those EVs... there would be less need if you forced people to drive slower, as EVs (indeed, ALL vehicles, REGARDLESS of fuel type) are notoriously less efficient at higher speeds.

      Cutting speeds down to 80 km/h from over 100 km/h, for example, will lower the consumption of a Honda Civic 1.8 from around 8 l/100km to around 6 l/100km. Lowering it to 60 km/h can get that down further to around 5 l/100km.

      I don't know the exact energy consumption figures of electrics, but the same relationship should hold.

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      Of course, the elimination of all aviation and shipping seems a pretty draastic step to take. Mud huts and barrows next?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they could get the price down, more like 15 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Or more importantly, design roads so we are not constantly stopping and going..

      And use renewable powered public transit.

      thank you, thank you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      100% reduction is easy.
      windmills, solar, waterfall.
      series hybrid plugin EVs that drive most of the time as EVs yet have range freedom with the generator for rarer trips.
      use excess green electric power to make synthetic fuels for where battery drive isn't so good.
      plus all the non food biofuel you can make without use of fossil fuel.

      easy. the only problem is you all..

      could be done in say 12 years. all done.
      might even go that fast despite gargantuan human stupidity if peak oil forces your hands.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In 40 years flooding and destroyed economies will cut CO2 emissions with no effort at all. Rotterdam and Amsterdam will join legendary sunken cities like Atlantis with many others to follow in the following 40 years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not atlantis, more like open water Venices
      • 5 Years Ago
      If all the cars are EVs, why reduce the speeds?
      • 5 Years Ago
      By which you mean "89% of automobile emissions", right?

      Because transportation is about 1/3 or less of all greenhouse gas emissions. The rest comes from manufacturing and electricity generation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes... but transportation is the "low hanging fruit". New vehicles are produced in very large quantities. New factories are relatively VERY slow to be built.

        Nonetheless... Tranportation is 70% of Oil Consumption in the U.S. And light-duty vehilces are 70% of that. So 49% of Oil use is driven by light-duty vehicles.