June marks two significant events for environmental groups pushing for a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Countries represented at this week’s G7 summit, of which Australia is not a member, have declared they will work towards abandoning the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century.
Assuming the G7 can achieve this target, the rest of the global economy will, in part, be forced to follow suit, as carmakers adapt their models to suit the sizable G7 markets.
Those markets include the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Japan.
The summit also concluded that a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of between 40 and 70 percent was necessary by 2050, when compare to 2010 levels.
However, a path to achieve these goals was not settled upon for either the emissions reduction or the cut in fossil fuel usage, leaving green groups both elated and frustrated.
The G7 committed to December’s climate change conference in Paris, concluding that specific rules and CO2 targets should be established at the conference with a view to limiting temperature rises to less than two degrees Celsius.
While carmakers now have around 84 years to plan for the eventual phasing out of fossil fuels, their focus in the short term will be 2025.
As European Union rule-makers declared their intentions to introduce ‘on-road’ testing for diesel-powered passenger cars by 2017 to determine ‘real world’ emissions, carmakers were warned to prepare for tougher restrictions come 2021.
A target for fleet CO2 emissions of 95g/km has been proposed for 2021, with current levels around 124g/km.
But by the next round of emissions laws in 2025, the EU could be looking to cut CO2 emissions by as much as 30 percent.
Industry group ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers Association) said carmakers are struggling to further improve fuel consumption from traditional internal combustion engines, and that the proposed timeframe to achieve another 30 percent improvement in emissions is unrealistic.
While the obvious solution is to sell more all-electric or hybrid vehicles, carmakers claim that only government incentives can grow the EV market beyond its current share.
EU and ACEA representatives are due to meet later this month.
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