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How car emissions contribute to global warming?

Few steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Gasoline-engine automobile was invented by Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler of Germany in the 19th century and it was a historic milestone.  Karl Benz believed that the internal combustion engine would oust the use of horses for transportation and bring about a revolution. And this is exactly what happened. The thought process of this visionary is truly commendable, as the gasoline engine has indeed, made its mark in the world of transportation. Little did we know the side effects it would have and the long-term effects it would have on our Mother Earth.

Automobiles have become such an inherent part of our lives that many of us overlook the fact that it has been silently and harshly contributing to one of the most pressing problems worldwide - Global Warming.

Is one aware of the effects? Does one know how one is contributing to this phenomenon?

Here’s what it means - Over the last 150 years, the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases has been predominantly due to human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels for heat, electricity, and transportation.

Global warming creates a negative effect on health, the weather, and the environment.  With the current situation, it is very important to control global warming through the introduction of renewable energy sources especially in the transportation sector. There are several opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles operating on land, air, and sea. Read on to know more about how each one of you can help.

How To Reduce Emissions From Vehicles:

  1. Private Cars - The number of cars plying roads around the world has constantly been on the rise. As a short-term proposition, drivers should look to conserve fuel while commuting. The few ways this can be done is by reducing idling at traffic signals and adopting more fuel-efficient ways to get from point A to point B. Increase the use of public transportation for commutes is also a good choice in this regard. For the long term, keeping in mind the costing/ affordability one way is to start using electric vehicles (EVs) which is an apt change and a suitable solution. More importantly, there has to be strict emphasis laid down by the governments on the number of vehicles per owner or even on alternative fuels, so that supply issues do not halt vital transport activities. Motor-free zones and days are small steps that local governments and communities can take to reduce vehicular emissions.
  2. Trucks and vans - Diesel engines most often are used in heavy, commercial vehicles used for freightage on the highways. Since the battery technology that is available today isn’t suitable for the operation of electric trucks, the next best thing to do is to train the drivers in energy conservation. Wherever possible, transportation of goods can be carried out by small electric vans. Duties and taxes levied on the shipment of merchandise can result in smarter and more efficient transport solutions that consume lesser energy.

Today, the earth needs our help and we don’t have much time on our hands. Global warming is visible in the form of rising sea levels, higher temperatures, severe droughts, and flooding. Summarising below, the top measures that we as responsible humans can take, to slow down global warming and bring climate change within control by simply reducing our carbon emissions.

  • Usage of fuel-efficient vehicles - These vehicles are built to use less fuel and travel a specific distance when compared to the alternative modes of transport. It is known that burning less fuel will result in lower emissions. When more people opt for such vehicles, the collective impact can help reduce carbon emissions and global warming.
  • Cleaner fuels - Using cleaner fuels is definitely one of the ways to reduce carbon emissions. Most people are not even aware but there are some clean fuels made from cellulosic biofuels that bring down the emission rate to about 80% in comparison to carbon fuels. The Government could step in with regulating fuel usage and policy and follow more stringent pollution testing norms that can help in curbing emissions.
  • Electric vehicles - Electric cars and buses use electricity as fuel. These produce lower emissions than the vehicles running on internal combustion engines. If the electricity is also derived from renewable sources, the EVs would effectively produce zero emissions when used.

The government of India has been spearheading a drive to reduce carbon emissions in the country through the introduction of stringent regulations on Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates. There are also multiple groups. Individuals and NGOs who are trying to create awareness about Global Warming and helping people adopt better methods. The Government has also announced an electric mobility programme that looks to switch to all-electric vehicles by the year 2030.

This is something we cannot step away from if we wish to preserve our planet. We hope you’ve read enough to ask yourself if you are doing your bit to take care of the environment. 

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