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Automotive makers committed to reducing CO2

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A press conference at this years Geneva Motor Show brought together the automotive makers to state their commitment to reducing CO2 emissions from traffic. Also allowing them to stress the need for a comprehensive strategy to achieve cost-effective results. Road transport globally is a source of around 16% of man-made CO2 emissions, coming third after electricity & heating and manufacturing.

Vehicle manufacturers have already made substantial efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and this will continue. As an example, the average fuel consumption of cars sold in Europe has decreased by more than 12% in just ten years. At the same time, vehicle weight has increased by more than 16% due, among other things, to increased vehicle safety and other legal requirements which have put counter-productive pressure on the efforts to reduce CO2.

Also, other environmental improvements such as pollutant emission limits, often contradict fuel economy measures. Todays cars emit only a tiny fraction of the exhaust pollutants of 15 years ago and, with the replacement of older vehicles, air quality in many cities is improving and is definitely better than just a few years ago. However, the reduction of pollutants implies an increase in fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions. For instance, lowering the combustion temperature to reduce Nitrogen Oxide leads to higher fuel consumption.

When it comes to road transport, every actor has a role to play, from vehicle manufacturer to car owner and driver. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Yves van der Straaten, OICA Secretary-General, said:

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