With transport making up such a large share of carbon emissions, and driving responsible for most of those, the business lobby is arguing that significant cuts can be made to the UK’s totals without having to spend any money, simply by training the next generation of motorists.

Similar to the energy efficiency agenda for buildings, the push for more fuel efficient driving is a quick fix that would require limited spending up front and could reap significant benefits.

Learner drivers already have to demonstrate they can drive in a fuel-efficient way during the course of their driving test, but this is not a pass or fail element.

Among the proposals in the CBI’s report Tackling Climate Change closer to home, the organisation says that requiring learners to demonstrate they can drive smoothly and adopt more energy efficient motoring techniques would help cut carbon emissions and result in fuel savings of 5-10%, equivalent to around £200 a year.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Director of Business Environment, said: “More than a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gases come from personal transport, half of which are from cars.

“Making small changes to the way we all drive will reduce carbon emissions and could save motorists up to £250 a year.

“Simply changing gears more smoothly to avoid sharp breaking and acceleration can reduce fuel consumption by a third.

“Making energy-efficient driving techniques a mandatory part of the test will make a significant contribution to changing the next generation of motorists’ behavior, and to cutting transport emissions.”

“The Government needs to take action now to incentivise consumers to make energy efficient choices and ensure it provides the right framework to spur on businesses to develop exciting new products and services.”

Sam Bond

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