Technology, not behaviour cuts pollution

While pollution levels have fallen in recent years and the air is cleaner, this is mainly due to technological advances rather than change in people’s behaviour, according to a new report from the government’s environmental think-tank MNP.

Motorists are using bigger and heavier cars and driving longer distances, with the distance driven by commuters up 25% over the past 10 years, the report says.
And despite the introduction of more efficient domestic equipment and hefty taxes on electricity, households are using more electricity than ever before.
While concern for the environment has risen, a large majority of the population will only pay for measures to reduce CO2 emissions if everyone has to pay, the report says, adding that it believes CO2 emissions will continue to rise.
The Netherlands will only be able to meet its Kyoto targets on reducing CO2 emissions on paper because the government and companies are prepared to buy pollution rights from less-polluting countries – so-called emissions-trading – the report says.

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