The EU decision to replace petrol engines with diesel, though driven by German car manufacturers, predates her premiership. It was a classic European fudge, a means of averting systemic change while creating an impression of action, based on the claim (which now turns out to be false) that diesel engines produce less carbon dioxide than petrol.
Wait, what? Diesel produces more CO2 than petrol? What aberration of physics is this? All is explained in the report George references:
The main argument of the car industry to continue with diesel is its lower CO2 emissions. But the report analyses
evidence and concludes an average diesel car produces over 3 tonnes more CO2 than petrol over its lifetime.
This is due to:
● higher mileage (4% more due to cheaper diesel fuel, or rebound effect)
● More intensive refinery processes for diesel fuel
● heavier engines
● High GHG emissions of biodiesel substitutes when ILUC emissions are factored in.
This analysis does NOT take into account all of the additional km s diesels are driven.
New direct injection gasoline engines are now significantly more efficient closing the gap with diesel. The average
CO2 emissions of new diesel cars (119g/km) are only a few grams/km lower than an average (often less powerful)
petrol car (123g/km). If the Euro 2,000 cost premium of diesel over petrol car is taken into account gasoline cars
already outstrip their diesel counterparts. For example hybrid systems are now no more expensive than diesels (and
cheaper in some markets) but average 89g/km. In the medium term the opportunities to lower CO2 emissions from
cars are primarily from gasoline and electric solutions. To 2050 electric is the most cost effective technology. Since
diesel is not better for the climate than petrol there is no justification for its preferential treatment.
Because the Greenies insist that diesel have biodiesel in it, and biodiesel is higher emission than fossil fuel, therefore diesel has higher emissions. Plus, either people who have cheaper fuel drive more or, people who drive more choose the option with cheaper fuel.
This is not the same as saying that diesel emits more than petrol.
Oh, and, other technologies are now becoming more efficient. Which is great, but presumably they’ll suffer from the same rebound effects etc?
But this could be the least of the environmental disasters she has engineered. For this lethal concession to German car companies was predated by an even worse one, in 2007. In that case, her blunt refusal – supported by the usual diplomatic bullying – to accept proposed improvements in engine standards forced the European commission to find another means of reducing greenhouse gases. It chose, disastrously, to replace fossil fuel with biofuels, a switch Merkel has vociferously defended.
Merkel and the European commission ignored repeated warnings that the likely consequences would include malnutrition and massive environmental destruction, as land was converted from forests or food crops to fuel production.
As I recall that was egged on by every environmental organisation on the planet. It was only very late in the process, even afterwards, that the likes of FoE and Greenpeace woke up to the idiocy they were insisting upon.
Is this the worst? It is hard to rank such crimes against the biosphere, but perhaps the most embarrassing is Germany’s shocking failure, despite investing hundreds of billions of euros, to decarbonise its electricity system. While greenhouse gas emissions in other European nations have fallen sharply, in Germany they have plateaued.
The reason is, once more, Merkel’s surrender to industrial lobbyists. Her office has repeatedly blocked the environment ministry’s efforts to set a deadline for an end to coal power.
Well, no, not really, It was the idiot decision to rule out nukes at the same time….again egged on by every environmental organisation on the planet. George himself being an honourable exception I seem to recall.