Halving auto fuel consumption by 2050 could cut global carbon dioxide emissions by two gigatonnes a year while also reducing annual oil demand by six billion barrels, according to the new “50 by 5o” Global Fuel Economy Initiative.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the initiative is being led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the FIA Foundation.
Dramatic improvements in fuel economy and auto emissions standards are needed if, as projections show, the number of cars around the globe will triple by 2050, according to the initiative. Officials add that such improvements are achievable using already existing technologies, including better engines and drive trains, more efficient tyres and lighter materials for autos.
“This initiative can have a huge impact on the motoring public,” said David Ward, director general of the FIA Foundation. “Through tax incentives and information campaigns it would help encourage consumer demand for more fuel efficient cars. This is not an agenda for some point far off in the future. Our 50-percent fuel efficiency target requires us to change direction and take important actions right now.”
Among the initiative’s goals for this year: develop regional assessments and launches in Europe, North America, Latin America and in Asia; start four pilot projects in different regions of the world; create a fuel economy information database; and work in cooperation with both the UN and G8.