Thursday, October 25, 2007

Carbon Health Warnings for all New Cars

According to the Times (20 Oct 2007), 'all advertising for new cars will have to carry cigarette-style “health warnings” about their environmental impact, under a European plan to force manufacturers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.'

'Advertisements in newspapers and magazines, will have to devote at least 20 per cent of the space to details about fuel economy and CO2 emissions. At the moment manufacturers have to include only basic mpg and CO2 figures in the small print. They do not have to explain what the numbers mean or provide any comparison.'

Repeatedly the car representatives say their advertising does not create demand for larger heavier and more polluting 4x4s, and they blame the consumers for not demanding more fuel efficient cars. The industry will now be forced to accept that their aggressive advertising does create demand, and their ads need to spell out clearly the environmental impacts their products have on society.

This is welcome news, particularly as the car manufacturers fight against any meaninful EU regulations on the CO2 emission levels of the cars they build.