To tackle climate change the wealthy must change their lifestyles


A major new report by the Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Behaviour Change calls on policy makers to target the UK’s polluter elite to trigger a shift to more sustainable behaviour, and provide affordable, available low-carbon alternatives to less affluent households. The commission comprised a panel of 31 individuals who study people’s behaviour relating to the environment. They were tasked to find the most effective way of increasing action to tackle carbon emissions.

While efforts to address the climate crisis will require us all to change our behaviours, the responsibility is not evenly shared. Evidence reviewed by the Cambridge Commission shows that over the period 1990–2015, nearly half of the growth in absolute global emissions was due to the richest 10%, with the wealthiest 5% alone contributing over a third (37%).

In the year when the UK hosts COP 26, and while the government continues to reward some of Britain’s biggest polluters through tax credits, the Commission report shows why this is precisely the wrong way to meet the UK’s climate targets.

The report also urges the UK government to reverse its decision to scrap air passenger duty on UK return flights. And it wants ministers to re-instate the Green Homes Grant scheme they also scrapped recently.

More deails and a link to the full report go to:

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