More than half the world's oil supply is used to transport, and three-quarters of the energy used in transport is spent on the road, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). But without new policies to spur efficiency, the amount of fuel used for road transport will double by 2050, with severe implications for carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions. Most of the technologies needed to improve fuel economy are already available and cost-effective, so what is needed are policies that steer businesses and consumers in the right direction. Fuel taxes, CO2-based vehicle taxes, fuel-economy standards and better product labelling are the four key policies recommended by the IEA. To judge the extent to which countries have adopted these, the IEA has created a fuel-economy readiness (see map). Most rich countries, especially in Europe and Japan, already have the right policies in place, whereas in North America there is still room for improvement. The worst offenders are major oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, which encourage wasteful fuel use through subsidies.
|Fuel Economy. Originally appeared on The Economist|