New cars, including the Mercedes A, C and E class, BMW 5 series and Peugeot 308, are now swallowing around 50% more fuel than their lab test results reveal, according to new on-the-road results compiled by NGO Transport & Environment (T&E). T&E calls for a comprehensive investigation into both air pollution and fuel economy tests across Europe and a complete overhaul of the testing system....
Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: “Like the air pollution test, the European system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited. The Volkswagen scandal was just the tip of the iceberg and what lies beneath is widespread abuse by carmakers of testing rules enabling cars to swallow more than 50% more fuel than is claimed.”Again, I am not saying that one article convinces me that this is the case. But I find it entirely plausible.
I think this is informative for the larger question of how Kyoto failed and how Paris is likely to fail.
Everyone is motivated to express enthusiasm for global goals and cut corners on the obligations for their own sector, their own business, and their own individual activities.
This adds in to how there is a gradual diminution of concern from climate experts, to IPCC WG I, to the impacts and adaptation groups, to the bureaucracy, to the public.
The net result is lots of cheap talk and very little expensive action.
To me this all argues that there needs to be a profound cultural shift; that a little regulatory pressure is not enough. Is complying with the letter of the law rather than its spirit an essential feature of the modern world, rather than an anomaly? Is modest regulation enough? Or do we all have to change how we think at a more fundamental level, as Pope Francis urges?
UPDATE: The Guardian is running with similar claims.