M Watson’s letter ‘How green is this hybrid ’ (Talking Point, 15 October) correctly says that car companies are selling their models on how much carbon dioxide they have saved, but neglecting to mention the hidden elements.
Reducing CO2 has become the buzzword of developed countries, and manufacturers are constantly proclaiming ‘Look at me. Look how kind I am to the environment’.
If about 50 per cent of a car’s CO2 is produced during manufacture why not produce one that has twice the life. The maths on the savings to the planet is simple.
Also many of these ‘look at me’ companies source manufacturing — mostly assembly — to developing countries because of the lower labour costs. This often entails importing materials such as electronic components, injection mouldings and castings from all over the world, then re-shipping them back out in kit form — in many instances to the country they originally came from — for assembly. Major savings are made, but at the cost of a huge carbon footprint.
Because of this,
Will the savings in the emissions the average European make even make a dent in the deficit?
No. but if the developed world supplied the technical know-how and equipment to allow these new manufacturing powerhouses to reduce CO2 emissions we would all benefit.
Profit is not only driving increased carbon emissions, it is also the one thing stopping their reduction.Ray Edwards,