Government mandates to auto manufacturers to build greener vehicles and tax subsidies to consumers who buy them will result in lower emissions, right?
Well, that's not what has happened in Sweden, according to Autoblog:
"According to statistics from the Swedish Transportation Agency, average emissions from new cars in the country decreased from 164 to 151 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven, Swedish drivers used their green cars to cover more territory than ever before. Thanks in part to better fuel economy and the idea that a green vehicle has a slimmer impact on the environment, the overall result is more fuel burned, more emissions spewed."
The same effect is seen here in the U.S. when Washington's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that are designed to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil actually result in more as drivers see that it's cheaper to drive more and longer.
There is actually a name for this phenomenon, it's the Jevon Paradox, according to the American Energy Alliance. You can read more about it on Wikipedia. But note that it appears a devotee of CAFE or other government energy and environmental mandates couldn't resist adding a qualifier that is at least debateable.
For more from Autoblog on the Swedes' experience, go here.