How Can We Reduce Car Emissions and Improve Air Quality?

Learn about strategies that can help reduce car emissions while improving air quality such as switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle or using public transportation.

How Can We Reduce Car Emissions and Improve Air Quality?

An Official U. S. Government Website Using Official Websites. Gov A.

the government website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. EPA is addressing climate change by taking the following steps to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector:. Many of these programs have benefits beyond reducing carbon emissions. For example, lower fuel consumption can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and save consumers money at gas stations.

EPA and DOT Issued Joint Regulations Establishing GHG Emissions and Fuel Economy Standards for Major Sources of Transportation Greenhouse Gases, Including Cars, Light Trucks, and Heavy Trucks. Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standards program in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the country's renewable fuel sector, while reducing dependence on oil. Renewable fuels are produced from plants, crops and other biomass, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to burning the fossil fuels they replace. EPA, together with the Federal Aviation Agency of the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, have developed international carbon dioxide emission standards for aircraft.

EPA is also working on the process of potentially establishing national regulations under the Clean Air Act that address GHG emissions from certain classes of engines used in aircraft. SmartWay Helps Freight Transport Industry Improve Supply Chain Efficiency, Reduce Greenhouse Gases, and Save Fuel Costs for Participating Companies. Through SmartWay, the EPA and its partners are making significant strides in the efficiency of the way our country moves goods, helping to address air quality challenges, improving public health and reducing the contribution of freight to climate change. Since the mid-1970s, the EPA has required automakers to label new cars and light trucks with information on fuel economy and fuel costs.

Current car labels also include ratings for greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants. EPA provides online resources, such as the Green Vehicle Guide and the joint EPA and DOE fueleconomy, gov website, to help consumers identify vehicles that can save them money at the pump and reduce their transportation-related emissions. EPA's SmartWay light duty program goes further and identifies the highest-performing vehicles in terms of fuel economy and emissions to help consumers make an environmentally friendly purchase. For information on emission reduction strategies, national policies and regulations, voluntary and incentive-based programs, funding sources, calculators, transportation compliance, and other assistance to help states and local areas achieve their air quality objectives and transport.

While transportation continues to contribute a large percentage of U. S. UU. Emissions, there are many opportunities for the sector to offer greenhouse gas reductions.

Low-carbon fuels, new and improved vehicle technologies, strategies to reduce the number of miles traveled by vehicles and operate vehicles more efficiently are approaches to reducing transportation greenhouse gases. Road transport accounts for approximately one fifth of EU emissions. In the United States in general, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) activities have resulted in greater removal of CO2 from the atmosphere than emissions. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes, according to the American Lung Association, and come from emissions from diesel and gasoline burning.

As we shift towards lower carbon sources of electricity, electric vehicles offer a viable option to reduce emissions from passenger vehicles. In addition, a small amount of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions are included in the transportation sector. By far, the best way to reduce your car's carbon emissions is to switch to a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Emissions from pipelines, lubricants and mobile sources not related to transportation are collectively shown as others.

Passenger cars are a major polluter, accounting for 61% of total CO2 emissions from EU road transport. In addition, both agencies cited the voluntary agreement that five automakers (Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW and Volvo) made with the state of California to meet emissions standards significantly stricter than those established by the SAFE rule, demonstrating their current commitments to significantly exceed those rules. The EU aims to achieve a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050 compared to 1990. Current projections place the decline in transport emissions by 2050 at just 22%, far behind current ambitions.

Increasing it through carpooling or switching to public transportation, cycling and walking could help reduce emissions. CO2 emissions or sequestration, as well as emissions of CH4 and N2O can occur by land management in its current use or when land becomes other land uses. Any money raised through these taxes could go towards subsidies to reduce the purchase price of zero-emission vehicles and implementation of infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles. Since the entire transport sector accounts for 21% of total emissions and road transport accounts for three-quarters of transport emissions; road transport accounts for 15% of total CO2 emissions.

Kristine Althouse
Kristine Althouse

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