Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Daily Travel: Insights from Germany

Between 1990 and 2010, Germany reduced carbon dioxide emissions from passenger transportation by 15 percent while emissions in the United States increased by 12 percent. In addition, between 1990 and 2010, the fuel efficiency of the German vehicle fleet improved at a faster rate than in the United States—from 9.5 to 7.5 liters per 100 kilometers or 27.9 to 33.9 mpg in Germany, compared with 12.1 to 11.2 liters per 100 kilometers or 22.4 to 24.0 mpg in the United States. This article compares policies and travel behavior in Germany and the U.S. to explain why Germany has been more successful than the U.S. at reducing emissions. Factors affecting emission levels in Germany include: higher and increasing gas taxes, an increased share of fuel efficient diesel vehicles, higher utilization of public transportation, local initiatives to promote walking and cycling, and land use planning that fosters shorter trip distances and higher population densities.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 3-7
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 301
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01594574
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2016 4:36PM