Act now on cars and climate change - Shell

15 November 2007 15:37  [Source: ICIS news]

By Andy Brice


SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--Businesses, governments and individuals must face hard truths and act now if they are to deal with growth in the automotive market and the threat of climate change, global major Shell said on Thursday.


“The global rise of the automobile comes with costs that the early automotive pioneers could never have anticipated,” said David Pirret, the group's executive vice president lubricants.


“Costs such as air pollution, road congestion, depletion of natural resources and perhaps, most pressing of all, the cost of emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. At Shell, we have long recognised the conflict between the need for mobility and the toll it is taking on our planet.”


Pirret, speaking to delegates at the Challenge Bibendum event, which focuses on sustainability in the automotive sector, said action must be taken now.


There was a need to recognise that energy demand was soaring, especially in China, said Pirret. Demand may double by 2050, he added.


In addition, access to oil and gas supplies was declining and was much more difficult to tap into than before. Finally, he said, keeping CO2 emissions at acceptable levels as energy demand rises was absolutely critical.


Automobiles use almost half the world's crude oil production. There are currently more than 900m vehicles in the world - a figure that could reach 2bn by the middle of the century.


In Shanghai alone, he said, car ownership has doubled in the past two years.


“To build a sustainable future, we must understand and act on these truths,” Pirret said.


The Challenge Bibendum event is organised by Michelin to promote sustainable road transport. It runs from 15-17 November.

By: Andy Brice
+44 20 8652 3214

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