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Money makes drivers go green

Independent research commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), has revealed that 80% of British drivers would buy a car that was less damaging to the environment if they knew they could get financial assistance towards the cost.

The findings underline the importance of continued financial support from government to encourage drivers to go green.

Road transport contributes to 26% of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions, so a significant change in purchasing decisions by British drivers would make a considerable contribution to the UK’s targets of 60% reduction in 1990 carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and could help slow the rate of climate change. It would also have a positive effect on the nation’s health.

Air pollution in the UK brings forward the deaths of between 12,000 to 24,000 people each year (British Lung Foundation).

The figures also illustrate how targeting such incentives towards those groups that have a dominant influence on the UK vehicle population, like commercial fleet managers and local authorities, makes strategic sense. The research, conducted by ICM, shows that there is significant awareness, with 40% of respondents knowing of the contribution that transport makes to climate change. However, the same survey shows that only 12% would prioritise the environmental impact of the vehicle when buying a new car without a financial incentive to make the change.

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