Government initiative promises to save the planet - and money
11 March 2007

The Department for Transport has today launched an initiative encouraging motorists to curtail their carbon dioxide emissions, and a website which advises the public how to cut the amount of CO2 their cars produce.The new campaign, called 'Act on CO2', urges us all to 'drive smarter', and insists that, if we do, we could prevent 5.5 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere every year, and save £2 billion a year in fuel costs. You can visit the associated website by clicking here.Among the 'top tips' it provides as a route to cutting carbon emissions and fuel consumption are ensuring your tyres are at the correct pressure, removing any unnecessary clutter from your car to save weight, driving more slowly, avoiding stopping and starting in traffic and over-revving your car's engine, and turning your engine off when you think you're likely to be stationary for three minutes or more. It also advises motorist to keep CO2 in mind when buying a new car. Transport Minister Gillian Merron said "this campaign is all about giving drivers practical tips to help them make that real difference. Put quite simply, the way we drive can help to reduce our impact on the environment and by using less fuel, motorists can save money too."So why are motorists being targetted when, according to most estimates, a typical family car is responsible for less than ten per cent of total household carbon emissions. The vast majority of CO2 emissions result from gas central heating, the generation of electrical power and the general consumption of everyday goods and services. Autocar contacted the DfT for assurance that there would be similar initiatives to this one aimed at cutting CO2 consumption in the home. We were assured that 'Act on CO2' would be a cross-governmental initiative involving the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; "we will be urging people to use energy at home more appropriately in due course," a spokesperson told us.

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