The regional scenarios document the possible impacts on emissions and air quality initiated by potential changes to policies on transportation, technology, fuel, and mobility systems during the upcoming decades. The intention of these scenarios is to show stakeholders that the implementation of sustainable policies plays a critical role in ensuring projected emissions do not become a reality (WEC, 2011).

The objective of this activity is to provide a source of information on current emissions projections and present scenarios for sustainable urban transport and climate change in Latin America and their potential impacts. These initially focus on Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

4. Economic Growth and Private Vehicle Ownership

Unless governments move forward with efficiency initiatives and make sustainle policy choices for the future, regional fossil fuel needs will likely double by 2040, and could nearly triple by 2050 (World Energy Council, 2011).  Each country in the LAC region can do its part in the effort to mitigate these impacts by enacting effective policies at local, provincial, and national levels to promote efficiency and sustainable development.

As shown in the chart below, all of the countries are following a similar trend to the United States, i.e. there is a positive correlation between increasing GDP and increasing car ownership.  The United States data shows a leveling off of car ownership at approximately 800 cars per 1,000 people and therefore it is possible that some Latin American countries may reach this level of car ownership at the current projected rate of increase.  This is something that could be avoided with the correct policy instruments and political will for a sustainable future.

Economic growth and private vehicle ownership

Source: Dargay, 2007.