22/6/2012 - Driving a new car might just bring Summer back
So another balmy British summer week comes and goes - if the rain hasn't got you, it's pretty likely that the wind has! The really good news is that we are now past the summer solstice and longest day so the nights will start drawing in before you know it.
When global warming was first mooted the boffins suggested that, rather than turning the UK into the Costa del Sol as many hoped, the impact would mean our weather would start to become more extreme. Over the last few years it's been interesting to see how we seem to be experiencing a stream of baffling conditions with record temperatures one month, followed by record rainfall the next with the odd blizzard thrown in for good measure. So is this down to global warming or is it just that the Jet Stream has packed up?
Unfortunately you probably need a weather expert to answer that question rather than a motoring nut. But whatever the answer, I think even the most cynical amongst us can see that lower emissions are a good thing for the planet and, ultimately, ourselves. So it was heartening to read a report this week that shows that carbon dioxide emissions from new cars in the European Union fell an average of 3 percent in 2011, as car buyers chose less polluting vehicles.
Data from a monitoring arm of the EU (The European Environmental Agency) showed a decrease in the average amount of CO2 emitted by new cars registered in 2011 to 135.7 grams per kilometre, from 140.3 in 2010. That followed a drop of nearly 4 percent in 2010 from 2009. The downward trend shows the capacity of car makers to innovate and make their products more efficient.
This fall is in line with new EU emissions targets introduced this year. Car makers must reduce the average emissions of their new vehicles to 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2015 or face the penalties. The European Commission is also expected to make binding a provisional 2020 goal of 95 grams per kilometre.
I must confess that I am not the most "green" of people but, just as I have been convinced to throw my wine bottles into the recycling bin, I am fully onside with manufacturers looking to decrease emissions without affecting performance. These figures appear to demonstrate that the R&D departments around the globe are working harder than ever to achieve this.
Have a great weekend whatever the weather!
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