Fuel Economy Policies Could Spare Commonwealth Governments from an Impending Transport Fuels Disaster
Fulton, Lewis (2012) Fuel Economy Policies Could Spare Commonwealth Governments from an Impending Transport Fuels Disaster. Commonwealth Advisory Bureau Nov. 2012
The number of road vehicles, and road fuel use, in Commonwealth countries could double by 2030 and increase by a factor of four by 2050. Given that about half the Commonwealth’s (and world’s) oil is used in transport and oil accounts for about 95% of transport fuel use, this could spell economic disaster for the oil importing countries which make up the vast majority of the Commonwealth. Yet, one simple solution – improving vehicle fuel economy – could cut the cumulative oil bill of Commonwealth countries by GBP 200 billion by 2030, rising to GBP 2 trillion by 2050. In this Opinion, energy expert Lew Fulton sets out some alarming statistics on oil use and cost, and analyses the case of Kenya – a country that has already recognised the scale of the challenge it faces and the steps that it is taking to improve fuel economy. He argues that through inaction, Commonwealth countries are missing out on the opportunity to save billions of unnecessary expenditure on oil – a cost which could slow economic development in some countries. By setting out the core elements of a national policy on fuel economy, he encourages all countries to work with the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) and other experts. By adopting this high-impact low-cost policy solution, Commonwealth countries will, he argues, save their citizens billions of pounds and reduce their CO2 emissions.