Road Transport Becomes More Environmentally Friendly

30 august 2019

"Road transport is getting more and more environmentally friendly, according to the Analytical Center estimates, in 2010 CO2 emissions per vehicle per year totaled 5,600 tonnes but by 2017 this figure had gone down to 4,800 tonnes," said the Analytical Center expert Grigory Mikrukov, speaking at the International Moscow Automotive Forum (IMAF).

The expert believes that despite the significant increase in the number of automotive vehicles on the roads seen over the past several years (+31% since 2010) the average amount of CO2 emissions per vehicle is growing down around the world as more environmentally friendly vehicles are being offered to the public (with more environmentally friendly engines, as well as electric vehicles and vehicles that run on compressed natural gas) and stricter environmental regulations are being adopted by a number of developed nations. 

According to the European Commission and the International Energy Agency, greenhouse gas emissions by the global economy were up 1.3% in 2017, reaching 50.9 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Meanwhile emissions of CO2 specifically totaled 37.1 billion tonnes, or 73% of total greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity. 18% of CO2 emissions come from road transport. The countries that produce the largest amounts of pollution are the US, the EU and China as they have the largest numbers of road vehicles in operation.

For Russia the issue of CO2 emissions by road transport is not particularly relevant: compared to 2010, total road transport emissions have gone up by 1% whereas the number of vehicles on the roads has gone up by 33% and in terms of emissions per vehicle Russian road transport performs better than the world average. However, emissions of other contaminants such as CO and NO2 remain a pressing issue. On this count Russian road vehicles lag far behind the global averages on a per capita basis and that means that the quality of air in our cities is significantly worse.

Mr Mikrukov pointed out that the implementation in Russia of the new environmental protection policy will result in stricter emissions regulations and that will force car owners to change the behaviors they are accustomed to while automakers will have to come up with new solutions. For example, the introduction of environmentally friendly zones within cities will push people towards switching to compressed natural gas and electric vehicles.