Sustainability 2011/12

Climate Change and the Environment

Climate Change Policy and Partnerships

During 2011, the climate change policy landscape continued to evolve. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed a national approach to vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for 2017–25. However, growing budget deficits at national and regional levels globally continue to decrease the emphasis on comprehensive climate policy.

Our global approach to product planning and policy participation is based on the science of climate stabilization. We accept that simply “not getting worse” is not good enough. The auto industry must work together with suppliers, government, the fuel industry and consumers to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels from transportation so we can help stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Stabilizing CO2 concentrations will require that all sectors of the economy, including the transportation sector, do their share. To achieve real and lasting results, all global stakeholders must make long-term commitments for a sustainable future.

In our major markets, the regulation of fuel economy and/or vehicle CO2 emissions is becoming increasingly complex. In addition to competing federal and regional regulations, governments are taking diverse approaches to incentives for emission reductions through rebates, fees, “feebates,” privileges for low-emitting vehicles and penalties for high-emitting vehicles. This creates a very complex policy environment, and it is one important driver of our strategy to develop fuel-efficient and advanced technology platforms that can be shared globally and tailored to the needs of our customers.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, Ford continues to advocate for comprehensive, market-based policy approaches that will provide a coherent framework for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, so that companies have a clear understanding of their role in achieving reductions. GHG regulations effectively regulate what vehicles we are allowed to build and sell. CO2 emissions standards for motor vehicles are functionally equivalent to fuel economy standards, because the amount of CO2 produced by a vehicle is proportional to the amount of fuel used.

We hope that the information that follows helps to illustrate the diverse array of GHG and fuel economy regulations and incentives that are now shaping our markets. This section provides more detail on developments and Ford’s involvement in: