Tag Archive: CO2 emissions

  1. Car emissions 14% higher than advertised by manufacturers, study finds

    Comments Off on Car emissions 14% higher than advertised by manufacturers, study finds

    Source: Euractiv

    A recent study has revealed an 80% increase in the disparity between official and real-word car emissions over the past 5 years.

    The study conducted by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) has revealed this increase despite the use of advanced testing procedures aimed at minimizing such gaps.

    The ICCT, renowned for its involvement in uncovering the “dieselgate” scandal, scrutinized CO2 emission data from passenger cars across Europe and discovered discrepancies between official figures and actual emissions. The ICCT has been tracking vehicle emission disparities since the early 2010s, with the latest data revealing a notable rise. In 2022, the gap for vehicles registered in Germany rose to a reported 14%, from 8% in 2018.

    Jan Dornoff, the lead researcher at ICCT, expressed concern about the widening rift, emphasizing its potential to undermine the European Union’s efforts to mitigate transport-related CO2 emissions. The study, which analyzed CO2 emission s reported by the European Environment Agency alongside real-world fuel consumption information from over 160,000 combustion engine and hybrid cars, underscores the urgent need for action.

    Revised testing

    Following the “dieselgate” scandal in 2015, in which major automakers such as Volkswagen were found to have used so-called “defeat devices” to fraudulently lower their emissions, European testing procedures were revised. In September 2017, the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) was instituted. The test is designed to be more representative of real driving emissions than its predecessor, the New European Driving Cycle. Despite these efforts to enhance accuracy, the study indicates a persistent widening of the gap between test results and real-world emissions.

    While WLTP led to a 7.3% reduction in reported CO2 emissions between 2018 and 2022, real-world emissions decreased by a mere 2.3% during the same period. Dr. Peter Mock, ICCT Europe’s managing director, advocates for a correction mechanism to ensure manufacturers meet emissions reduction targets effectively.

    Under current EU legislation, new vehicles are mandated to utilize On Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring (OBFCM) devices, expected to provide more accurate data on CO2 emissions by 2030. However, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) disputes the study’s findings, arguing that OBFCM data, collected since 2021, lacks sufficient representation of real-world conditions.

    The ACEA maintains that while WLTP tests aim to simulate real driving patterns, variations in driving conditions significantly impact real-world fuel efficiency. The association underscores the complexity of factors influencing real-world driving conditions, such as traffic, terrain, and weather, which may deviate from controlled laboratory environments.

  2. European Environment Agency shares post-COVID greenhouse gas emissions data from transport in Europe

    Comments Off on European Environment Agency shares post-COVID greenhouse gas emissions data from transport in Europe

    Source: The European Environment Agency

    The EEA has reported that after six years of the EU transport sector experiencing a steady growth in greenhouse gas emissions, in 2020 its rates had decreased substantially because of reduced activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates of 2021 emissions indicate an 8.6% increase in transport, followed by a growth of 2.7% in 2022. National predictions compiled by the European Environment Agency suggest that, even with measures planned in each of the Member States, emissions from domestic transport will not drop below their 1990 level until 2032. International transport emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors are projected to continue increasing.

    The EU’s domestic GHG transport emissions increased from 2013 until the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, largely due to passenger transport growth and inland freight volumes. Between 2019 and 2020, transport emissions went down by 13.5% and recovered from the pandemic effects in 2021 with a growth of 8.6%. In 2022, preliminary estimates indicate these emissions continued their upward trend by 2.7%.

    According to their national projections, Member States predict these transport emissions will increase in the following years. As no additional measures have been taken, emissions are expected to grow in 2024. There are transport-related measures currently planned, but not yet implemented by Member States; they are projected to reverse this growth after emissions peak this year.

    Looking ahead to 2030, current policies and measures would reduce GHG transport emissions to a rate of 4% above 1990 levels. With extra measures, EEA believes that 2030 transport emissions can go down to 5% below 1990 levels. The majority of planned measures and policies for the transport sector focus on promoting low-carbon fuels or electric cars, as well as driving a modal shift to public transport usage.

    In addition to domestic transport, international aviation and international maritime industries also add to transport-related emissions. In terms of categories within domestic transportation, navigation, aviation and railway emissions have all decreased since 1990 and are predicted to stay relatively stable in coming years.

    Road travel accounts for the highest amount of overall transport emissions – emitting 76% of the EU’s transport GHG emissions (including domestic transport and international bunkers) in 2021. The majority of existing and planned measures in the Member States focus on road transport, so EEA predicts that this percentage will decrease because road transport decarbonises faster than other modes of transport. The largest emission increases until 2030 are forecasted to be from the aviation sector, followed by international maritime transport, as they have not been prioritised by national policies.

    The aviation industry was massively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its international emissions being 58% lower in 2020 than in 2019. EEA has reported this emissions decrease as temporary, as air traffic grew by 24% in 2021 and increased further in 2022, with a rise of 48%. Flight numbers are expected to bounce back to 2019 levels by 2025 at the earliest.

  3. Global food miles generate almost 20% of all food-related CO2 emissions

    Comments Off on Global food miles generate almost 20% of all food-related CO2 emissions

    Source: European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment

    Food transport in global supply chains is vital to the industry’s success as demand for diverse products increases. New modelling estimates the carbon footprint of food miles to be close to a fifth of all related emissions.

    ‘Food miles’ are a measurement based on the distance a product travels from farm to fork, or production to consumption. Environmental impact is measured in tonne-kilometre (tkm). Currently, the assessment of food miles is limited, with only a select few food items having a fully quantified food-mile analysis. A new study from The University of the West of England provides a more comprehensive estimate of global food miles and their impact – inputting countries of origin, destination countries, transport distances and food commodity masses.

    In its write-up of the study, the European commission shared the following: “When the entire food supply chain was considered in this analysis the researchers found that global food miles equate to about 3.0 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) – higher than previously thought. This indicates that transport accounts for 19% of total food system emissions. The transport of fruit and vegetables contributes 36% of food miles emissions – around twice the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) released during their production. Food miles only contributed 18% of the total freight miles, but the researchers found that the emissions from these made up 27% of total freight emissions, mostly from international trade (18%).

    The researchers also estimated the global food-system emissions to be 15.8 GtCO2e, equating to 30% of the world’s GHG emissions. With global food expenditure around US$5 trillion (€4.85 trillion) in 2017 and the global population rising annually, it is useful to consider the impacts of food miles on climate change. The researchers say that this should be coupled with more locally produced food items and add that improved food security through better food-systems management also requires integration of environmental protection targets.”

    The reduction of emissions in last-mile deliveries and trips will aid in the de-carbonization of the food industry, with LEV vehicles such as electric cargo bikes offering a proven solution.

    For the full study, see: Li, M., Jia, N., Lenzen, M., Malik, A., Wei, L., Jin, Y. and Raubenheimer, D. (2022) Global food-miles account for nearly 20% of total food-systems emissions. Nature Food, 3(6): 445–453. [Online version].

  4. E-bikes have potential to cut CO2 by up to 50%!

    Leave a Comment

    A recent study carried out by CREDS researchers at the University of Leeds has found that:

    • Electrically-assisted bicycles (e-bikes), if used to replace car travel, have the capability to cut car carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in England by up to 50% (about 30 million tonnes per year).
    • The greatest opportunities are in rural and sub-urban settings: city dwellers already have many low-carbon travel options, so the greatest impact would be on encouraging use outside urban areas.
    • There is scope for e-bikes to help people who are most affected by rising transport costs.

    The full study is here.

    Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Campaign success

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Member profile

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.