7. All states shall swiftly adopt maximally stringent efficiency standards for cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft.

Rapporteur: Liz Couture

Efficiency standards refer to the fuel efficiency standards as legislated by countries that produce fossil fuel burning vehicles. Of course the most stringent policy possible is 100% efficiency, or vehicles that emit zero emissions. This is not an easy policy to enact in law, as it takes time for transition. The longer term ideal goal, then, is to achieve zero emission vehicles over the next three decades, by 2050 by all the countries of the world.

It is easier and cheaper to redesign or convert some vehicles (and their associated infrastructure) than others, and so the maximum stringency level of efficiency possible will vary between manufacturing of cars, buses, trains, ships, and airplanes.

The urgency with which to get to maximum standards, indeed zero emissions, cannot be overstated.

For purposes of discussion, assume that the following current transportation vehicles for living, working, and playing are the most threatening to planetary health, not only because of the excess greenhouse gas emissions due to widespread use, but also because of increased anticipated demand:

  • Commute – car, train, mass transit bus, small plane
  • Business – car, train, truck, airplane, commercial cargo ships
  • Pleasure – car, train, mobile home, airplane, passenger cruise ship
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  1. DRAWDOWN, Page 142  (back)
  2. For information on Carbon Pricing in Canada, see Ecofiscal.ca, a group of non-partisan economists discussing various types of political responses and geo-economic considerations, as well as the book, “The Case for a Carbon Tax”, by Shi-Ling Hsui  (back)
  3. See the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth Sequel, Truth to Power,” story of Al Gore at the Paris 2015 COP, produced by Jeff Skoll  (back)
  4. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm  (back)
  5. United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Press Release https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/session48/pr_181008_P48_spm_en.pdf, 8 October 2018  (back)
  6. The Price of Carbon, Maenz, Dr. David, One Ton Press, 2017, Chapter 5, section 5.4 Emissions Reduction Pathways in the Transportation Sector, page 164-172  (back)
  7. DRAWDOWN: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming, (Project Drawdown), Edited by Paul Hawken, Penguin, New York, 2017, Section 6 TRANSPORT pages 136-156 (covering Mass Transit, High-Speed Rail, Ships, Electric Vehicles, Ride-sharing, Electric Bikes, Cars, Airplanes, Trucks, Telepresence, and Trains, respectively  (back)
  8. Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015, Paris Report, https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/conferences/past-conferences/paris-climate-change-conference-november-2015/cop-21  (back)

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2 thoughts on “7. All states shall swiftly adopt maximally stringent efficiency standards for cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft.

  1. This is an electric vehicle, but some say that we’ll need cars for a while yet that fill up at the gas pump — but what they put into the tank may not be gasoline but alcohol made from carbon dioxide, drawn from the atmosphere or from sea water.

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