Global Climate Change

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced from the combustion of fossil fuels have the potential to raise the Earth’s temperature, causing global climate change.

Highway vehicles are a major source of man-made GHGs in the U.S., accounting for about 25% of our CO2 emissions each year (about 1.5 billion metric tonnes in 2003).

What Can I Do?

Vehicle CO2 emissions cannot be reduced with exhaust treatment devices. They can only be reduced by decreasing the amount of fossil fuel burned by

  • Driving less
  • Using a renewable fuel
  • Getting more mileage out of each gallon of fuel

Each gallon of gasoline you burn creates around 20 pounds of CO2 or, in terms of volume, about 170 cubic feet. So, driving an energy efficient vehicle can reduce your CO2 emissions substantially—about 17 fewer tons (260 thousand fewer cubic feet) of CO2 per year by driving a car that gets 25 MPG instead of 20 MPG.

greenhouse gas rating

We Can Help

Fueleconomy.gov’s Find-a-Car feature provides a greenhouse gas rating for each vehicle that shows

  • Estimated annual GHGs emitted
  • GHG emissions relative to other vehicles

 

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