Experts suggest that driving techniques such as avoiding harsh acceleration and using lower revs can lower your carbon emissions. Turning anew leaf: As part of The National’s Earth Matters coverage, we look at some potential New Year’s resolutions for the UAE to help the environment, in a series examining meat consumption, water conservation, food waste and driving habits.

In a car-centric country with sweltering summers, encouraging people to switch to public transport might be inconvenient at the moment but experts say altering they way we drive can reduce our individual emissions. Until public transport develops to the point of making its use more convenient than driving, UAE residents need to look for other ways to reduce their driving carbon footprint.

According to Simon Labbett, project director at Sheida, an Omani road safety body, there are ways to lower emissions simply by driving with fuel economy in mind, rather than speed. Mr Labbett suggests that driving techniques such as avoiding harsh acceleration,using lower revs and looking ahead to manage driving by anticipation can lower your carbon emissions. “For example, don’t keep accelerating into a hazard when, with a little more planning, you could have eased off and still arrived at the same point without loss of journey time,” he said.

According to a study by the Natural Resource Department of the government of Canada, for every 10 kilometres an hour over 100 kph, drivers are decreasing their fuel efficiency by 10 per cent. This translates into money. A commuter going from Abu Dhabi to Dubai every day at the speed limit of 140 kph is decreasing fuel efficiency by 40 per cent, and spending that much more on fuel every year. The savings from driving at 100 kph for a long-distance commuter can be thousands of dirhams annually. For those unwilling to sacrifice time for efficiency,

Mr Alam also suggested that people should keep tyres correctly inflated for maximum fuel efficiency and consider buying a hybrid car.

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