Activists at the Geneva car show pose the question, 'What is a Good Car?'
Greenpeace's analysis reveals that the average auto on display
pumps out an excessive 201 grams (g) of CO2 per kilometre. Forty
grams greater than the current average for cars on the road of 160g
and well above a twelve year old broken promise from the industry
to get down to 140g.
BMW lined its stand with diesel cars, each with their emissions
level emblazoned on the side. Fiat dressed their stand in foliage.
For visitors to the show it was an impressive, even overwhelming
display of green marketing. But behind the hype and foliage, the
industry's true colours can be found.
Thirty Greenpeace activists who disrupted the proceedings where
desinctly unimpressed. Surrounding select models they where there
to challenge the industry to answer the question: "What is a good
View the list of cars and their CO2 emissions
Climate campaigner Helen Perivier summed it up: "For a century
the industry has sold us a dream of faster, bigger, heavier cars.
The climate crisis means the new century requires a new definition
of what makes a good car."
At present CO2 emissions from road transport and aviation are
growing twice as fast as overall CO2 emissions. It has been
estimated by 2050, left unchecked, emissions from transport could
account for between 30 and 50 percent of total global greenhouse
At the Geneva show Renault unveiled cars with average emissions
of 186 grams, BMW's came in with an average emissions of 187 grams,
and Volkswagen racked up an astonishing 197 grams thanks to their
high performance Passats and Tiguans.
"If these are the cars the industry thinks we'll be driving in
the next few years, then it's clear they're not serious about
climate change. Only legislation can put the brakes on the car
industries reckless drive to ever higher emissions." said Helen
Perivier, Car Campaigner with Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace is calling on the EU to impose a fleet wide average
fuel efficiency standard of 120g CO2 per km by 2012, and to reduce
this to 80g by 2020. Since car makers have failed to take the lead
in meeting this challenge governments must act to bring about these
To highlight just how the industry has been confusing car buyers
and politicians alike we're launching our 'Good Car' website.
We're asking you to start by picking out the worst car for the
climate on display at the Geneva car show - and to help you we've
narrowed the field to a choice of five.
Will you pick the petrol hungry Toyota SUV or the little VW Golf
that is sold in huge numbers but isn't as fuel efficient as it
could be? Working out what makes a good car is a difficult
business. Take a look at all five models and cast your vote.
Please write to the Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, today asking her to support strong emissions standards.