The latest energy and environment initiatives helping to reduce carbon emissions from our many modes of transport are being put under the microscope by scientists.
Experts have identified America’s highest carbon-dioxide emitting energy producer as transportation, and many proposals have been devised to reduce vehicle carbon output.
The United States has pledged to help keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees. Analysts have said that achieving this goal is possible but will also require “developed countries to reduce their emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050.”
A key driver in the United States’ plan to contribute a decrease in carbon emissions is in the transportation sector. The U.S. mid-century decarbonization strategy projects that America’s transportation sector requires an 86 percent reduction in fleetwide emissions to reach its targets.
Different types of proposals have been put forward as solutions. Carbon pricing policies are being touted as a means of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that significantly contribute to climate change. However, critics say it might be too soon and become a challenge for policymakers to set a carbon price high enough to lead to a decarbonization of the transport sector
However, one of the most important emission reducing plans suggested for ground transportation includes switching from petroleum-fueled vehicles to hydrogen or carbon-neutral fuel sources, or to use zero-emitting technologies, such as electric powered vehicles.
Although electric vehicle sales are on the increase, the market value is significantly less than gas fueled vehicles due to low petrol prices and competitive fuel rates across the board. However, as this resource depletes prices will soon rise and other resources will be tapped.
According to the Center for American Progress, the transformation of the transport sector will require “time to ramp up manufacturing scale, bring down the cost of alternatives, overcome consumer misconceptions, and deploy new infrastructure.”
Experts claim that the key to reducing vehicle carbon emissions is through technological advancement. Many tried and tested new ways of capturing and storing carbon emissions are coming onto the market.
Energy producers can scrub the mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide before they would separate the remaining byproducts: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which could be used to power cars in an environmentally friendly manner.
Continued investment in research and development in this area is needed but the key here is most certainly a focus on ensuring the cars on our roads pump out the least amount of toxins into the atmosphere.
Investment in charging stations and other infrastructure is also needed to support the adoption of low carbon options, and technological advancements.
An example of one developer who is helping to contribute to this cause is California’s Zero Emission Vehicle, known as ZEV. The scheme should see 1.5 million ZEVs, about 15 percent of new vehicle sales, on California’s roadways by 2025.
It is bold ideas like these that help reduce America’s carbon-footprint and invite innovation. As the number of cars increase, so too do the ways in which we reduce the carbon emissions they omit, which ensures the United States can play its part in preserving the environment.