A new survey by Friends of the Earth found that over a two week period 55 per cent of all car adverts printed in national newspapers were for cars in the most polluting tax bands - E to G - emitting over 165 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. 97 per cent of cars appearing in the ads emit more carbon dioxide per kilometre than will be legal after the EU's new emissions limits come into force in 2012. The motor industry continues to lobby against these 'unfair' limits.
Friends of the Earth's Transport Campaigner, Tony Bosworth said that both government and the car industry were to blame:
'The motor industry says that it is concerned about climate change, yet most of its adverts are still for gas-guzzling vehicles. It's little wonder that the industry has failed to meet its voluntary target for selling greener cars. The industry should spend less time and money lobbying against targets to cut carbon emissions from its products, and more time and money into building and promoting greener cars'.
Despite recent rises in vehicle road tax, the real cost of motoring has fallen under the Labour government by over 8 per cent. This is contrasted by a rise in bus fares of 14 per cent, and in rail fares of 5 per cent.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist March 2007