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How SUVs conquered the world – at the expense of its climate

by Oliver Milman, The Guardian


Highlights

  • SUVs were the second largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade, surpassing all shipping, aviation, heavy industry, and trucks
  • There are more than 200 million SUVs on the road, emitting 700 megatonnes of CO2, about the entire output of the UK and Netherlands combined
  • In 2019 SUVs surpassed 40% of all car sales worldwide for the first time.
  • In the US, SUVs emit 14% more carbon dioxide than small passenger cars on average because they require more energy to move around 
  • Sebastian Castellanos, a researcher at the New Urban Mobility Alliance stresses the importance of decarbonizing transportation:

“To avert the worst of the climate catastrophe, the transport sector needs to be completely decarbonized…With the explosion in SUV sales, we are moving even farther away from our goal of decarbonizing the sector.”

  • Americans have grown deeply attached to car culture and SUVs. In order to sever these ties, a reimagining of US towns and cities as places largely without cars is needed

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign calls for investments and bold policies to support clean mobility, including a phase-out of all gas-powered vehicles.


Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/01/suv-conquered-america-climate-change-emissions?CMP=share_btn_tw

Electric Vehicles Charging at a Station, by Stivabc, found on https://pixabay.com/photos/parking-space-car-electric-car-1678181/

Washington State looks to a ban on new gas vehicles

by Danny Westneat, Seattle Times


Highlights:

The idea of banning new gas cars, formerly seen as too aggressive and radical, is picking up steam in Washington state:

  • Ten Washington legislators introduced House Bill 2515, which aims to ban the registration of any new gas-powered passenger or light-duty trucks, starting ten years from now, in 2030
  • The bill excludes emergency vehicles and equipment over 10,000 lbs
  • HB 2515  allows the reselling of older model gas powered vehicles in 2030 and after

Transitioning from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles is a key component of The Climate Center’s sustainable mobility work.


Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/banning-gas-cars-its-a-fringe-crazy-bill-no-longer/

California won’t buy cars from GM, Toyota, and others siding with Trump

by Rachel Becker, Cal Matters

Starting immediately, California state agencies will no longer buy gas-powered sedans, officials said Friday. And starting in January, the state will stop purchasing vehicles from carmakers that haven’t agreed to follow California’s clean car rules.

The decision affects General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and multiple other automakers that sided with the Trump administration in the ongoing battle over tailpipe pollution rules. The policy will hit General Motors particularly hard; California spent more than $27 million on passenger vehicles from GM-owned Chevrolet in 2018.

Read more: https://calmatters.org/environment/2019/11/california-says-it-wont-buy-cars-from-gm-toyota-others-opposing-tough-fuel-standards/?for-guid=e7359d9a-2fcd-e611-88f6-90b11c3bc1f2&utm_source=usatoday-Climate%20Point&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=narrative&utm_term=article_body

Mary D. Nichols, California’s top air pollution regulator

Major automakers strike climate deal with California, rebuffing Trump on proposed mileage freeze

by Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post

Four automakers from three continents have struck a deal with California to produce fleets that are more fuel-efficient in coming years, undercutting one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive climate policy rollbacks.

The compromise between the California Air Resources Board and Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW of North America came after weeks of secret negotiations and could shape future U.S. vehicle production, even as White House officials aim to relax gas-mileage standards for the nation’s cars, pickups and SUVs.

Mary D. Nichols, California’s top air pollution regulator, said in an interview that she sees the agreement as a potential “olive branch” to the Trump administration and hopes it joins the deal, which she said gives automakers flexibility in meeting emissions goals without the “massive backsliding” contained in the White House proposal.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/07/25/major-automakers-strike-climate-deal-with-california-rebuffing-trump-proposed-mileage-freeze/?utm_term=.021251e7248d

"Paris sunset" by waitscm

Paris bans 2.7 million vehicles to combat air pollution

by Adam Sage, The Times

Paris has banned about a third of the cars in the region from entering the capital on weekdays to improve air quality and reduce deaths from particulate pollution.

The measures — some of the most restrictive in Europe — come after the publication of a report showing that Paris has higher levels of the pollution than any other EU capital.

Under the policy introduced on July 1 by Anne Hidalgo, the city’s mayor, diesel cars and vans made before January 1, 2006 have been banned from the capital between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, along with all motorbikes and three-wheeled vehicles made before June 30, 2004.

Read more: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/paris-bans-2-7-million-vehicles-to-combat-air-pollution-03mcmk5g5#Echobox=1561998326

Democrats flesh out Green New Deal with bill to end sales of gas-burning cars by 2040

by Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffpost

Just days after carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere hit a level not seen in 800,000 years, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is proposing a bill to completely phase out new gas-burning cars by 2040.

The legislation mandates zero-emissions vehicles to make up 50% of new sales by 2030, and ratchets up the requirement 5% every year for a decade. Merkley plans to submit the bill on the Senate floor Wednesday.

It’s an ambitious proposal, and one almost certain to go nowhere in a Republican-controlled Senate and under an administration that’s in the process of reversing rules to make combustion-engine vehicles more fuel efficient.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/green-new-deal-cars_n_5cdb4dbde4b0437438c359d4?guccounter=1

Uncompetitive: Canada and the US have worst vehicle fuel economy standards in the world

by Blake Shaffer, The Conversation

Usually when Canada is at the top of an international ranking, it’s cause for celebration. Not this time.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency shows that Canada’s vehicles have the highest average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre driven. They are also the largest and the second heaviest in the world.

In short: Canadian vehicles are big, heavy and guzzle a lot of gasoline. For a country that is championing its climate action, how do we square these facts?

Read more: https://theconversation.com/when-it-comes-to-vehicles-canada-tops-the-charts-for-poor-fuel-economy-115213

Plunging sales suggests end is nigh for fossil fuel cars in Australia

by Giles Parkinson, The Drive

No 1: When asked, more than one third of Australians say that – given the chance – their next passenger vehicle purchase will be electric. More than two thirds think the shift to electric is inevitable.

No 2: In the first two months of 2019, sales of new petrol and diesel passenger cars in Australia slumped a stunning 21 per cent in February, versus a year ago. Overall new vehicle sales, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, were down 9.3 per cent – a fall of 370 vehicles a day.

Are the two linked? It is hard to say definitively because the missing link – the actual switch to EVs – hasn’t yet happened in Australia because there are simply too few electric models available for purchase, bar the already sold-out limited offering of Hyundai Ioniqs and a range of vehicles priced at more than $100,000.

And it’s likely, as some economists suggest, that the downturn in petrol and diesel purchases is at least partly driven by the faltering economy, uncertainty about wages and jobs, the squeeze on borrowing and the fall in house prices which may make some prospective buyers feel less wealthy.

Read more: https://thedriven.io/2019/03/08/plunging-sales-suggests-end-is-nigh-for-fossil-fuel-cars-in-australia/