Gov’t Taking Action to Reduce Emissions from Transport Sector

Story Highlights

  • The Government is taking action to improve fuel economy and efficiency in the transportation sector and reduce vehicle emissions, which contribute to global warming.
  • Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, made the declaration as he addressed the Regional Global Fuel Efficiency Workshop at the Terra Hotel and in St. Andrew on July 28.
  • The workshop focused on Cleaner and More Efficient Fuels and Vehicles for Jamaica.

The Government is taking action to improve fuel economy and efficiency in the transportation sector and reduce vehicle emissions, which contribute to global warming.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, made the declaration as he addressed the Regional Global Fuel Efficiency Workshop at the Terra Hotel and in St. Andrew on July 28. The workshop focused on Cleaner and More Efficient Fuels and Vehicles for Jamaica.

Among the measures he cited are: expansion of the highway network for more efficient movement of persons and goods across the island; introduction of E10 fuel (a blend of 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent gasoline, and ultra low sulphur diesel fuel); undertaking improvements in the public transportation infrastructure; and reducing duties on hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Minister noted as well that several policies have been drafted to address vehicle fleet and fuel quality, type and consumption patterns.

These include the National Transport Policy; a draft National Biofuels Policy that has been developed under the National Energy Policy 2009-2030; and the Climate Change Policy Framework.

He noted that the National Transport Policy will soon be reviewed and it is anticipated that issues related to greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and the related climate change impacts will be addressed in the revised document.

The global transportation sector is arguably the heaviest user of fuel, with data showing the sector at 45 per cent of total consumption from 2008 and 2012.

In 2010, the sector was responsible for almost a quarter of all anthropogenic (man made) carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation, traps and holds heat in the atmosphere. The heating of the causes the greenhouse gas effect, which ultimately leads to global warming.

Minister Pickersgill called on Jamaicans to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by practising vehicle fuel economy.

“I strongly support the switch to cleaner fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles,” he said.

Consumers can significantly improve vehicle fuel economy by practising measures such as: keeping to the speed limit, driving safely to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, not letting the vehicle idle for more than 10 seconds, reducing the use of air conditioning, planning trips ahead of time, regular maintenance of the vehicle, and purchasing a vehicle with high gas mileage.

The main objective of the two-day conference is to strengthen vehicle emission and fuel quality standards; as well as to promote fuel economy to support a more fuel-efficient auto fleet in the Caribbean.

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