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

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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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Footnotes for this article can be seen at the Footnotes 2 page on this website (link will open in a new page).

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Electric cars may have potential to mitigate environmental impacts – but where is the infrastructure re: charging stations, etc.? In Toronto – a homeowner owned an electric car and tried to charge the battery while it was parked on the street in front of their home. Municipal bylaw indicated this is not allowed – due to the hazard of someone tripping over the cord running over the sidewalk – city officials indicated this would additionally be a violation of multiple building and electrical codes. There was discussion to bury the cable under the sidewalk – which was ultimately not allowed… Read more »

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Fuel Cell Trucks: Solution to Heavy Duty Transport Emissions?
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks
May. 17, 2018
Article by Nicolas Pocard
How many trucks do you see on the road on any given day? Likely, quite a few. Heavy duty transport is a crucial element in moving the products we all rely on.

And this transport volume is showing no signs of slowing down. As the global economies further entwine, we are increasingly dependent on the movement of goods via trucks. ….. .

There is a term — the “California effect” — that describes the greater power of California than that of Trump. He is trying to relax the standards of efficiency for cars, but California is holding the line on their tough standards. And because they account for so many car owners, the car companies stick to the California standards instead of Trump’s preferred ones. But I read that Trump is trying to force them to go along with the federal law. Where does that fight stand at the moment? I haven’t seen any reference to it in the paper lately.

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.

Here’s another proposal that I cannot appraise. It sounds awfully challenging — we’d need to create several million islands covered with solar panels to do it. How feasible is that, compared to other means of obtaining sustainable fuel? https://www.intelligentliving.co/floating-solar-islands/