We Want to Know

How do our choices of fuels and vehicles affect climate, nature and people? Such knowledge should be given to us when we make these choices. It would release the consumer power and help steer the transport sector in a sustainable direction.


Inspirational montage by the Green Motorists showing what an eco-label on the fuel pump might look like

We can see in the supermarket where the fish is catched and where the beef cattle is bred; we can see whether the cookies contain palm oil. We can choose between a great many products with voluntary sustainability labels such as KRAV and Fairtrade.

There is not nearly as much sustainability-related consumer information available in the transport sector. This is so even though it is particularly important here. The transport sector gives rise to one third of the greenhouse gas emissions in Sweden. Everybody travels; every one of us contributes to these emissions. If we are given the chance to make informed choices these emissions can therefore be substantially reduced.

But there is more to sustainability than greenhouse gas emissions. The changeover to fossil free transport releases huge market forces in the search for new natural resources. Freely available information is necessary to steer these forces in a sustainable direction. Otherwise we may devastate of the last rain forests in order to cultivate oil palms for biodiesel, or exploit children as labour force when raw materials for electric car batteries are mined.

Widened campaign

Under the headline I Want to Know (Jag Vill Veta) the Green Motorists campaigned for five and a half years for eco-labels on fuel pumps, showing the climate impact and origin of the fuel we were about to pour into our car. When the Swedish government decided to introduce such eco-lables in August 2018 we decided to widen our perspective.

Now we also call for better traceability of fossil fuels, and eco-labels on new cars in Sweden that resemble those soon to be found on our fuel pumps. Another possibility is to show comparisons between the climate impact of different choices of modes of transport when you buy tickets or make reservations.

The climate crisis is global, and so is the fuel and car industry. If consumer power is to have the slightest impact on the global scale we need international rules. The Swedish Association of Green Motorists is therefore seeking international cooperation for work along these lines.

Discussions have been initiatied with Our HorizonThink Beyond the Pump and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. They circle around the questions how climate change labels on fuel pumps should be designed in order to affect the people who sees them, enable their spreading to many countries, and what political strategies should be used to make it happen.



Read more

The winding road to eco-labels on Swedish fuel pumps

Swedish fuel pumps must soon carry eco-labels. Read the history of the initiative from the perspective of the Green Motorists, together with some reflections and lessons.

Read also a press release by the Green Motorists from August 2018 that details the new regulation.



Impact of eco-labels on fuel pumps

What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of the upcoming Swedish eco-labels? Will they affect the fuel market? Opinion polls and evaluation of similar energy labels provide clues. Read more.



Collaboration

The Green Motorists have initiated strategic discussions with Our Horizon and Think Beyond the Pump, who are campaigning för ”warming labels” on gas pumps in the US and in Canada, which resemble the warning labels found on cigarette packages. Arnold Schwarzenegger has put forward similar ideas, and we have also initiated discussions with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.



Roundtable in Vienna

During the R20 Austrian World Summit in Vienna May 28-29th 2019 Karolina Skog, who passed the bill on eco-labels on Swedish fuel pumps, and the Green Motorists had the opportunity to talk to Arnold Schwarzenegger and a delegation from California. Read more.



Release the consumer power in the fight for sustainable mobility

Read a debate article by the Green Motorists published in the political magazine Altinget on March 4th 2019. 



We want to know: About time to put eco-labels on new cars in Sweden

Read a press release by the Green Motorists from April 5th 2019.



Time to find the source of oil

Read an op-ed by the Green Motorists published in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet on November 12th 2018.




Is the responsibility for the changeover to sustainable mobility personal or political?

The Green Motorists consider the question to be ill-posed. It is an expression of the either-or thinking that is all too common in the debate.

Should we rely on consumer power or radical political decisions? Should we combat climate change at home or abroad? Should we stop driving cars or make them less harmful to the environment? Are more energy efficient cars or renewable fuels the thing to go for? Electricity or biofuels? Ethanol or biodiesel? Of course all actions and all technical solutions that can contribute to sustainable mobility must be welcomed.

At best different actions and solutions cross-fertilize each other. Strengthened consumer power via eco-labels on fuel pumps will help educate and sensitize the citizens. This pushes the politicians forward and facilitates radical decisions, such as eventually putting an end to the sale of fossil fuels. Thus we cannot speak of personal responsibility as opposed to political responsibility. The one facilitates the other.

Media in English

China Development Gateway 20/8 2016: Sweden to introduce eco-labeling for car fuels: minister

ENDS Europe 20/3 2018: Swedish fuel pumps to get eco-labels

Bloomberg Environment 17/8 2018: Sweden's gas pumps must soon include climate impact labels

Mobility Lab 10/10 2018: We put warning labels on cigarettes. Why not on gas pumps?

Future fuel strategies 11/10 2018: Climate warning labels on fuel pumps: A taste of the future?

The Daily Californian 12/2 2019: California needs to add eco-labels to gas pumps

San Francisco Chronicle 18/2 2019: Warming labels needed at the gas pump 

International Labtag 21/3 2019: Promoting climate change awareness with labels

Huffington Post Canada 29/8 2019: Doug Ford's Right. Show Ontarians The Full Price They're Paying At The Pumps.



Read more about the Green motorists
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