Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the main gases responsible for global warming. Energy production from fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) or the production of electricity discharges large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The transport sector contributes to this phenomenon by consuming these polluting fuels.
CO2, what is it?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the gases that are naturally present in our atmosphere. These gases absorb some of the heat emitted by the Earth and cause a natural greenhouse effect. They are called greenhouse gases.
Human activities contribute to the release of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. These high concentrations of carbon dioxide result in intensifying this natural greenhouse effect and induce climate changes.
The transportation sector (private and professional use) is a major emitter of CO2 because of the fuels consumed.
• 130 g/km: Belgian average of CO2 emissions from new cars sold in 2011.
• 2.4 kg and 2.7 kg: CO2 emissions produced by the combustion of respectively 1 l diesel fuel and 1 l petrol.
What can be done?
Manufacturers are obliged to inform the customer about the average CO2 emissions of new vehicles by displaying an energy label. It is therefore possible to make your choice with full knowledge of the facts. The website www.energivores.be helps you in this.
Since, CO2 emissions are directly related to fuel consumption, your choice will be a gesture towards the environment and your wallet.
The CO2-guide, an online application for CO2 emissions of new cars, simplifies fast searches.
Label in show-room
The CO2 label must be displayed on or in the immediate vicinity of the vehicles on display. It gives information about the official values of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
These values are measured based on a standard European procedure. It allows comparing different cars at the time of purchase. During actual use, these values may differ due to, for example, the driving style, types of routes, traffic conditions, equipment or options in each vehicle.
Less CO2 emissions with new technologies
Manufacturers are obliged to reduce CO2 emissions of their models, or risk paying fines. The 2020 targets are to achieve 95 g/km for cars and 147 g/km for vans.
Whereas previously only small cars emitted low amounts of CO2, at present even family cars are seen to be among the very good followers.
Models of hybrid and electric cars have become affordable. Excellent performance of their electric engines is an asset in reducing CO2 emissions. This is especially an advantage under driving conditions in urban areas with frequent acceleration and braking. However, it must be kept in mind that even the production of electricity causes CO2 emissions.