For years car-makers have been salivating at the potential for new markets in places like China and India. In the past couple of decades the total sales volume in most of the established car markets has largely stabilized with little or no total growth. Emerging markets that previously had few sales were suddenly starting to take off. The problem with this potential for new sales is that every one of those new sales adds to the total amount of carbon being added to the atmosphere. Consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers has published a report that points out this problem.
They estimate that global carbon dioxide emissions may double by 2050 if things aren't changed dramatically. PWC studied six different scenarios for what could happen over the next forty years. They extrapolated efficiency trends from the last two decades and combined that with various economic growth scenarios. The only scenario they found that could stabilize atmospheric carbon concentrations at acceptable levels involved a combination of large scale shifts away from fossil fuels, increased efficiency improvements, and carbon capture and storage. The carbon capture and storage would have to be done at power plants and other industrial facilities. In both the baseline and optimal scenarios, the US, China and India are projected to account for over half of all carbon emissions by 2050. This optimal scenario does not include suppressing growth in emerging economies, but rather focuses on efficiency and greener technologies.
[Source: PWCGlobal via GreenCarCongress]