Climate Change Mitigation

The rapid growth of the global car fleet poses a tremendous challenge in our efforts to address global climate change. Vehicle numbers are predicted to triple worldwide by 2050, with over 80% of growth occurring in developing countries. At the same time, without concerted efforts to address this issue, the growing car fleet will increasingly strain global oil supplies, drain oil reserves in many regions, lead to increased trade imbalances, and leave economies vulnerable to unstable and escalating oil prices.

One part of the solution to all of these concerns is to dramatically improve passenger vehicle fuel economy (i.e. cut fuel use per kilometer). Improved fuel economy translates into reduced greenhouse gas emissions as less carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted per distance driven. The Global Fuel Economy Initiative, a partnership of the FIA Foundation, The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has estimated that a 50% improvement in fuel economy around the world—achievable using technologies that have already been or will be commercialized within the decade—would save over 6 billion barrels of oil per year by 2050 and almost cut CO2 emissions from cars in half. In order to realize these benefits, strong vehicle fuel economy and/or greenhouse gas standards will be necessary.

The United States, the European Union, Japan and China have established fuel economy and/or greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles. Mexico has taken a lead in Latin America by making vehicle standards a part of the climate change agenda and by working towards world class standards for passenger vehicles. In order to set the stage for policy makers and other stakeholders in Mexico and throughout the region to analyze the need for standards in Mexico and consider the best practices around the world, the National Institute of Ecology (INE) in Mexico is convening an international workshop on passenger vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. The workshop is supported by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) and by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Other supporters include the Centro Mario Molina (CMM) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.