Despite signs of progress, governments need to advance initiatives to increase fuel economy and decrease automotive emissions, the IEA said from South Africa.
The International Energy Agency, in a 31-page report issued during the international climate conference in Durban, South Africa, said improvements are needed, and fast, if the global community is to cut emissions from new cars by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.
The IEA reviewed automobile emissions from countries that comprise 90 percent of global new car sales from 2005-08. The agency found that fuel economy increased 1.7 percent during the study period, far below the pace needed to meet the 2030 target.
The IEA calls for better technologies in gasoline-powered engines, more use of diesel engines and an overall move toward smaller vehicles.
The White House in November announced a measure that requires a fuel efficiency equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon for model years 2017-25 passenger cars and trucks. Beijing in 2009 had fuel efficiency standards of 35.8 mpg while Europe requires cars by model year 2016 to get 50 mpg.
We are working closely with countries to craft policies, as well as quantify achievement and progress made to improve their national average fuel economy," Lew Fulton, head of the IEA's energy technology policy division, said in a statement.