Make no mistake, the effects of climate change are real. Like it or not, we’re all in a race to 2040.
Although, some scientists warn that we need to hit zero carbon emissions well before 2040.
We’ve known for some time that we’re losing the war on climate change, but being human, we’ve done a remarkable job of ignoring the warning signs.
Take President Donald Trump for example. He claimed in an interview in 2019 that the U.S. has the cleanest water and air. To drive home the point, he went ahead and loosened regulations on coal-fired plants and cars.
Fortunately, the Biden administration has sought to fix that, heralding a return to something resembling the Clean Power Plan. He’s by no means alone in his efforts.
Governments around the globe are starting to take seriously the fact that our planet is in trouble. Finally.
The UK announced late last year that it will introduce a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. With companies like AMS Solutions on hand to create charging points for businesses, the transition looks set to be a relatively smooth one.
Britain isn’t the only nation to draw a line in the sand, though. In a bid to find out who is leading the electric vehicle (EV) race, a recent study compared the UK’s progress to that of other countries.
Measuring Criteria to Ensure a Fair Race
To ensure a fair race, the researchers identified three main criteria to measure a country’s ability to successfully adopt electric vehicles. That way, you can tell at a glance how the world’s nations rank.
How is a country incentivising the uptake of EVs through policy e.g. tax breaks that benefit consumers and manufacturers?
How feasible is it for a consumer to own an EV in their country? Are there sufficient plans in place to create a network of charging points and how much of this electricity comes from renewable sources?
How consumer appetite is affecting market supply and demand for electric vehicles versus traditional petrol and diesel passenger vehicles. in each country polled.
The Main Contenders in the Race to 2040
To date, 11 nations have pledged to eliminate the use of fossil fuel vehicles in the next 20 years. From the UK and Costa Rica to Scandinavia and Germany, these are the forward thinking countries that are prioritizing the health of our planet and its inhabitants.
With a total market share of EVs sitting at a staggering 49.1% and an overall score of 69.1, Norway is —at the moment, anyway— the main contender in the race to 2040.
These guys make Apple’s early adopters look like laggards.
To put that in perspective, Iceland has the second highest market share with 19%. Although their overall score has ranked them in 9th place. Somewhat ambitiously, Costa Rica proposed a petrol car ban by 2021. They’ve since adjusted that to 2050, which, if achieved, will still make them the first fossil fuel-free country.
At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, or worse, an ‘also ran’ advocate, I’m of the opinion that every nation that takes the pledge to eliminate the use of fossil fuel vehicles in the next 20 years is a winner. Some may take longer than others, but their commitment to the environment speaks volumes.
What’s Your 2040?
From Damon Gameau, the guy who willingly got himself hopped up on sugar in the name of science, comes a new and equally insightful documentary. Where That Sugar Film was all about human health, 2040 is focused purely on the wellbeing of the planet.
Heralded as an ‘aspirational journey to discover what the future could look like if we simply embraced the best that exists today,’ 2040 is also an urgent call to action. As much as change needs to happen at a governmental level, it’s up to us as individuals to do our bit as well.
However, given that transport produces 7 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, most of which comes from our petrol and diesel guzzling cars, opting for an electric car makes a lot of sense.
It is predicted that by 2040, a whopping 1 billion extra cars will join the 1.2 billion already on the road. [Source: What’s Your 2040]
It’s a no brainer that the future of transport must be electric. I’d add with a good amount of human-powered options thrown in as well. We need to bike and walk more. Both for our personal health and the health of the planet.
The future can’t be predicted but it can be envisioned and brought lovingly into being. —Donella Meadows