Who is most willing to change?
When we divide individuals who are willing to change their behaviour to help reduce climate change into demographic subgroups, we find that women drivers are more willing to take action than men. Seventy per cent of women motorists agree that they would be prepared to reduce their speed on the motorway to help reduce the impact of climate change (or say they already do so) compared with 56 per cent of men. Women drivers are also rather more willing than men to consider buying a car with lower emissions (75 per cent compared with 70 per cent) and reduce the amount they travel by car (47 per cent compared with 41 per cent).
There is also some evidence that younger people are more willing than older people to make less use of air travel. The proportion agreeing that they would be willing to reduce the amount they travel by plane (or already do so) declines from 34 per cent among 18-24 year olds to 25 per cent among people aged 65 or over. However, older people are much less likely to fly in the first place. There is also a tendency for graduates and others with higher qualification levels to show greater willingness to change their behaviour than those with lower or no qualifications, though again it must be noted that those without qualifications are far less likely to fly in the first place. These differences in relation to age and educational qualifications are what we might expect to see given our earlier findings about the way people's beliefs in climate change vary between groups (see Table 4.1). People in higher income brackets were slightly less willing to reduce the amount they travel by car than those with lower incomes, or to reduce their speed on motorways. In terms of party political affiliation, people who identify themselves with the Conservatives express less willingness to change their transport and travel behaviour than those of Labour or the Liberal Democrats. For example, 36 per cent of Conservative supporters are willing to reduce the amount they travel by car (or do so already) compared with 50 per cent and 46 per cent of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters respectively. It seems probable that the Conservatives' endorsement of 'green' policies before and after the 2010 General Election may have held less appeal for their own core sympathisers than for supporters of the other main parties.
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- Speech by David Cameron at Department of Energy and Climate Change, www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn10_059/pn10_059.aspx
- This question does not ask specifically about car use, but is placed with other questions about road transport.
- It has previously been noted that those most concerned about the environment can often themselves be the most frequent flyers (Commission for Integrated Transport, 2007).
- Transport policy in Scotland is devolved so this would only apply in England and Wales.
- The multivariate analysis technique used was logistic regression - more details of the methods used can be found in the Technical details chapter of this report. Further details of the analysis results are available from the authors on request.
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