The climate policy goals can be reached in time

With more electric cars and increased biofuel use, the climate policy goals can be reached in time

If you want to reduce the transport sector’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions and reach politically set climate goals, both increased electrification and increased use of biofuels are required.

In order to reach the set targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions, car traffic emissions must be reduced significantly. Now researchers from Chalmers and the IVL Swedish Environmental Institute have modeled the carbon dioxide emissions from Swedish car traffic up to 2060 and show the paths towards climate neutrality.

– Two strategies are important: a faster transition to electrification, which can be achieved, for example, through a ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, as well as requirements for the use of biofuels, similar to the current reduction obligation.

Use of fossil fuel and diesel leads to geologically stored carbon ending up in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. It contributes to the global average temperature increasing and the impact takes place over hundreds of years. When using biofuels, there is not the same linear relationship between the influence of the temperature and the biogenic carbon dioxide emitted from the cars’ exhaust pipes, and the influence that occurs clearly diminishes more quickly.

That’s what Julia Hansson, researcher at IVL, who participated in the study, says. She adds that none of the strategies alone is sufficient to reduce the transport sector’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions at a sufficient rate, but a combination is needed. – The pace of electrification is limited by inertia linked to how quickly the car fleet can be renewed. Therefore, other measures with alternative fuels are needed in parallel.

The origin of the emissions matters

The researchers show that the origin of the carbon dioxide plays a major role in how much car traffic emissions contribute to global warming. The origin determines which temperature effect it will have.

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