Auto Emissions In Europe Increasing Along With Sprawl

In Europe, vehicular emissions are increasing while emissions from industry and the population growth rate decline. More people throughout the world are driving, especially in those countries where the "newly rich" enjoy their new mobility.

Vehicular emissions are rising in nearly every European country, and across the globe. Because of increasing car and truck use, greenhouse-gas emissions are increasing even where pollution from industry is waning.

The 23 percent growth in vehicular emissions in Europe since 1990 has "offset" the effect of cleaner factories, according to a recent report by the European Environment Agency. The growth has occurred despite the invention of far more environmentally friendly fuels and cars.

High taxes on cars or gasoline of the type levied in Copenhagen are effective in curbing traffic, experts say, but they scare voters, making even environmentalist politicians unlikely to propose them.

Other cities have tried variations that require fewer absolute sacrifices from motorists. Rome allows only cars with low emissions ratings into its historic center. In London and Stockholm, drivers must pay a congestion charge to enter the city center. Such programs do reduce traffic and pollution at a city's core, but evidence suggests that car use simply moves to the suburbs.

But Dublin is more typical of cities around the world, from Asia to Latin America, where road transport volumes are increasing in tandem with economic growth.

Urban sprawl and cars are the chicken and egg of the environmental debate. Cars make it easier for people to live and shop outside the center city. As traffic increases, governments build more roads, encouraging people to buy more cars and move yet farther away.

The trend is strongest in newly rich societies, where cars are "caught up in the aspirations of the 21st century," said Peder Jensen, lead author of the European Environmental Agency report on traffic.

Thanks to Gladwyn d'Souza via Sierra Club Global Warming & Energy Forum

Full Story: Car Boom Puts Europe on Road to a Smoggy Future

Comments

Comments

Michael Lewyn's picture
Blogger

Two more sprawl lobby arguments go into the trash can

One common argument against environmental regulation and in favor of sprawl is that auto pollution is no longer a significant problem, since newer cars pollute less than older cars. But this article, if its figures are correct, debunks that argument. In parts of Europe, more people are buying more new cars - and as a result there is more pollution, less less. Ergo, cars pollute - even new ones.

A second argument is that the growth of vehicle mileage in Europe proves that even pro-transit policies will not stop people from driving. But this article points out that far from adopting aggressive smart growth policies, many European governments, like American governments, are hostages of the highway lobby. Just like American governments, they build more roads which leads to more sprawl which leads to more driving. Nothing libertarian about that!

Good article to read all the way thru.

"I suppose if petrol got really expensive or I lost my free parking, we’d face up to the fact that we shouldn’t be driving so much, and try to figure something else out."

Huh. They'd try to figure something else out.

No libertarian cries about restricted freedom. Never mind the fact that their freedom is restricted now because there is no free-flowing traffic.

No doubt because they do not have the libertarian ideal of 18 lanes of traveled ways for their SOV.

Best,

D

Etymology of Libertarian

"Libertarian" comes from the Latin "liber," meaning free.

That is why they support free-flowing traffic, free parking, and free use of road space.

Charles Siegel

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