Won’t the current economic crisis make this much harder?
There is no question that the current economic crisis complicates efforts to change course and generate investments in new, cleaner technologies. However the crisis also presents something of an opportunity – as governments develop stimulus packages and other new economic initiatives, in particular as related to the auto sector, they can use the opportunity to promote clean, efficient vehicles. A good example of this is the French “Bonus-Malus” system with fees for high CO2 vehicles and rebates for lower CO2 vehicles. This has led to a net subsidy not only for the auto industry (and consumers) but for the most efficient available vehicles. And all signs indicate that it is having a dramatic impact on the types of vehicles sold in France, with a shift in the past 2 years toward much lower CO2 cars.
Also, the GFEI is looking at the long term – 2050-, by which time we may have seen economic ups and downs. We are setting out a long term strategy, but to work towards this goal we need to start now, and use the economic crisis as an opportunity to promote fuel economy – and this is already happening as many countries are including the need to produce more efficient cars in their economic stimulus packages.