Climate and Energy
"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy.
What a source of power!
I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that."
- Thomas Edison

Kyoto Fuel Efficiency Chart (metric)

1 gallon of gasoline produces 20 lbs of CO2

  1. Next time you fill up, set your odometer to zero. Don’t use the chart yet.
  2. From now on, each time you fill up, read the odometer, and fill in the distance travelled (A). Then reset to zero.
  3. Enter the litres purchased (B). Take the data from the pump or receipt.
  4. You MUST fill your tank to the max to get a reliable measurement.

  5. For your CO2 emissions (C), multiply your gallons (B) by 20 lbs
  6. For fuel efficiency in miles per gallon (D), divide distance (A) by gallons (B)
  7. For your CO2 per mile in pounds (E), divide 20 lbs by your mpg rate (D)

    For a web calculator, see

Here is a PDF Chart For Printing





travelled (A)


used (B)








per gallon


CO2 per mile



Ten Tips For Fuel Efficient Driving

Canada’s Kyoto commitment to reduce global greenhouse gases requires us to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions below today’s level. Driving more efficiently is one way you can play your part to reduce global warming.

  1. Plan your trips. Plan to do a number of errands in one trip rather than several trips. Avoid peak-hour traffic, hard acceleration and heavy braking - they all waste fuel. Driving smoothly and avoiding stop-start traffic will save fuel, and up to 30% of CO2.

  2. Avoid short trips by walking or cycling. It’s good exercise, and it will save you up to a pound of CO2 for every mile not driven.

  3. Service your vehicle regularly. If you keep your vehicle well tuned it will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15%.

  4. If your vehicle is manual - change up and into top gear as soon as possible without accelerating harder than necessary. Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel. So does letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners. Automatic transmissions shift up more smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the vehicle gathers momentum.

  5. Speed kills economy. High speeds require high fuel consumption. Your vehicle will use up to 25% more fuel at 70 mph than it does at 55 mph. On the open road, drive within the posted speed limits.

  6. Stopping and braking. Resting your foot on the brake wastes fuel, increases brake wear and decreases braking efficiency. If you think you will idle for more than 10 seconds, switch off and restart your engine later.

  7. Filling up. Filling past the first click of the fuel nozzle may cause fuel to spill through the overflow pipe when you accelerate or go around a corner. A properly fitting fuel cap also saves fuel by minimising evaporation.

  8. Look after your vehicle's tyres. Inflate your tires to the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer, and make sure they are properly aligned. This will reduce fuel consumption, extend tyre life and improve handling.

  9. Use air conditioning sparingly – since it will use 10% more fuel.

  10. Travel light. An extra 100 lbs will increase your emissions by 2%. Anything fixed to the outside increases wind resistance and emissions.

For more tips, see

The Guinness World Record for Vehicle Fuel Efficiency was set by John Gough who averaged 93 mpg (US gallons) from Britain’s Land’s End to John o’Groats in October 2002, driving a Toyota Yaris diesel 1.4-litre D-4D. He averaged 35-40 mph, using sensible driving methods to achieve the greatest efficiency. His tips: accelerate to your desired speed gradually, maintain a constant speed wherever possible, and try not to change gear unnecessarily or use excessive braking or acceleration.

Compiled by Guy Dauncey
Author of Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change
New Society Publishers, 2001.