TellAutomakersStopGlobalWarming(ACTION August 25, 2005 4:11 PM
Tell Automakers - Stop Fighting Progress on Global Warming
Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
General Motors, Toyota, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, and other car companies
Stalled on Carbon Pollution
Why it matters: Autos are a big source of global warming pollution
Automobiles (cars and light trucks) are key to stopping global warming -- they spew out 20 percent of the nation's global warming pollution. And because the U.S. is world's largest global warming polluter, U.S. automobiles account for a significant chunk of the world's heat-trapping pollution -- about 5 percent. But the last decades brought no improvement in cutting emissions from the automotive sector overall.
Why are automakers' carbon burdens increasing?
The main reason is that all automakers -- including the Big Six: GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Toyota, Honda and Nissan -- are producing and selling more and more light trucks without a corresponding increase in fuel economy. Light trucks include SUVs, minivans and "sports wagons."
How do the Big Six rank?
#1 GENERAL MOTORS
General Motors and Ford have the largest total new fleet CO2 emissions. GM's vehicles sold in 2003 emit 6.4 million tons of carbon annually, the biggest carbon burden among automakers. Its carbon pollution rate was 6.3% higher than in 1990.
Ford's performance was second worst, with its average CO2 emissions rate rising 7.7 percent over the 1990-2003 period, reaching a carbon burden of 5 million tons. (Ford would have to sell over 650,000 cars like the Escape Hybrid just to compensate for the increase in the company's new fleet-average CO2 emissions rate.)
DaimlerChrysler's CO2 emissions rate went up by 6.8 percent over the same period, reaching a carbon burden of 3 million tons in 2003. Trucks comprised a staggering 74 percent of DaimlerChrysler's model year 2003 light vehicle sales.
Even as it pioneered hybrid-electric cars (along with Honda) Toyota's product strategies were still damaging overall, with its new fleet-average CO2 emissions rates rising 2.9 percent over the period, reaching a carbon burden of 2.3 million tons in 2003. (To compensate for its 2.9% increase in fleet-average CO2 emissions rate, Toyota would have to sell 150,000 hybrids -- 8% of its sales -- with the same average fuel savings as the Prius and Lexus RX400h.)
Despite its fleet of hybrid-electric cars, Honda's 2003 new fleet-average CO2 emissions rates rose 5.7 percent from its 1990 level -- driven by its growing truck share of the market -- even though its emissions rate is still the lowest among the Big Six. Honda's carbon burden reached 1.7 million tons in 2003. (To compensate for its 5.7% increase in fleet-average CO2 emissions rate, Honda would have to sell over 300,000 hybrids -- 22% of its 2003 sales -- with the same average fuel savings as the Civic and Accord Hybrids.)
Nissan's new fleet-average CO2 emissions rates rose 8.4% between 1990 and 2003 -- the biggest increase among the "Big Six." In 2003, its carbon burden reached 1 million tons.
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gases August 25, 2005 6:55 PM
We could also reduce global warming by increasing biodiesel usage in all diesel-powered trucks, buses, and passenger vehicles.
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