The general public are resentful, cynical and resigned when it comes to the issue of climate change, according to an IPPR report.
Unless they can be persuaded to adopt lower-carbon lifestyles, it will be impossible to meet new emissions targets, says the report.
An approach based on saving the public money, and giving them greater control over energy bills and independence from suppliers would be more effective, say report researchers.
'Success will lie in convincing consumers that in adopting lower-carbon lifestyles they can save money and have control in a chaotic world, and they can do the right thing and look good without being an environmentalist,' said IPPR associate director Simon Retallack.
'If we can achieve that, while putting the policies in place to ensure that lower-carbon options are affordable, attractive and visible, we will have gone a long way towards mobilising the power of consumers in the battle against climate change,' he said.
The report, 'Consumer Power: how the public thinks lower-carbon behavoiur could be made mainstream', was based on workshops and in-depth interviews in late 2008 and early 2009. Researchers also visited interviewees' homes to gauge their reactions to energy advice.
IPPR full report