Friday, 30 January 2015

What to do about car emissions ... and embodied carbon ...

Following on from the posts looking at car emissions:
Futures Forum: What to do about car emissions: from Paris to London...
Futures Forum: What to do about car emissions ... and what to do about plane emissions ...

... and in view of the debate around embedded carbon in building projects:
Futures Forum: Knowle: old bricks vs new build: embodied carbon: pt 3
Futures Forum: How sustainable is the construction industry? ... 'Concrete is responsible for 7-10% of CO2 emissions' ... 'The industry must shift its emphasis beyond recycling and towards reuse'
Futures Forum: "The greenest building is the one standing" > Why do developers prefer to demolish buildings than renovate them?

... let alone looking at the bigger picture:
Futures Forum: The semantics of sustainability: 'sustainable development'... or 'sustainable growth' ... or 'sustained economic growth'... or 'development for sustainability'...

... what about the role of 'embodied carbon' in cars themselves?

A lot of work has already been done on this:

Embodied energy in automobiles:
Treloar, et al. have estimated the embodied energy in an average automobile in Australia as 0.27 terajoules as one component in an overall analysis of the energy involved in road transportation.[10]

Embodied energy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Embodied Carbon Sankey Diagram | Sankey Diagrams
Carbon footprint V embodied carbon - Circular Ecology

Hybrid fallacy
The ecological and social destruction caused by cars goes far beyond carbon emissions and ensnarled cities. The harvesting and mining of resources – rubber, iron, rare-earth metals for hybrid batteries, copper, plastics and so forth – plus the energy-intensive manufacturing process – comprise a massive ‘embodied’ energy and resource demand. Some 20 to 40 percent of the energy an automobile uses in its lifetime is ‘embodied energy’, consumed before it is purchased. None of this is solved by building hybrid cars. The car culture is a resource pig.

Deep Green: Cars, Corporations and Society | Greenpeace International

The true carbon tyre-print of your car
It's not just the exhaust pipe emissions. Makers now conduct life-cycle assessments that calculate a car's full CO2 cost.

Duncan Graham-Rowe for the Guardian Professional Network
Thursday 9 December 2010 14.18 GMT
You've opted to trade-in your gas-guzzling old banger in favour of an ultra-efficient shiny new car. But just how much energy, resources and ultimately CO2 went into manufacturing it?
As car companies begin to make this kind of information available, should we be thinking more about the total environmental impact of cars – from the factory to the scrapyard – or is this just a thinly veiled attempt to distract us from the main culprit spewing out of the exhaust pipe?
The vast majority of car emissions do come from using them, not making them, says Mark Stanton, group chief engineer of Jaguar Land Rover. "But if we only focus on the tailpipe [exhaust], we may lose sight of the total emissions," he says. That's because, as conventional engines become more efficient, the production emissions will make up an increasingly larger proportion of the total, he says.
For the latest Jaguar XJ, that figure is roughly a quarter, says Stanton. This is based on a life-cycle assessment, a process that Jaguar Land Rover will now use on all new models. The XJ is the first to get this treatment.

Green cars: how green are electric vehicles and hybrid cars? | blog.greenwisebusiness.co.uk
The true carbon tyre-print of your car | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

There is certainly more pressure being applied to the automotive industry:

Doing nothing on climate change could cost auto industry millions 
Mon, 09 Jun 2014
Business Forward says new EPA rules will add just $7 to cost of new car
When it comes to climate change, the auto industry will be better served by working with the energy industry on cleaner energy plants than dealing with more and more severe weather incidents in the future. That's the finding of a new study by Business Forward, which says that supporting the EPA's new rules – which is supposed to make energy plants 30 percent cleaner – is the right move. The reason lies in just-in-time production methods, which can be tremendously impacted by severe weather incidents.

Nevertheless. the auto industry is responding, for example:

Bentley becomes first car maker to receive Carbon Trust standard for water, waste and carbon reduction 
Stephen Kennett • 2degrees • Community manager • News • 29 Jul 2014
The certification has independently verified Bentley’s environmental achievements between 2011-2013, which saw the company achieve a 16% reduction in CO2 relative to the number of cars manufactured, a 35.7% reduction in water use and an absolute reduction in the amount of waste being produced.

And 'green services' to industry are providing lots of input, for example:

To finish, however, here is a defence of the 'green car':
"Electric Cars Aren't Greener" Myth Debunked

And here's a large bucket of cold water over the whole idea of putting the brakes on movement:
Transport: breaking through the impasse | Innovation | Transport | spiked

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