Published by the Policy Studies Institute, this report proposes a ‘green living initiative’ to encourage households to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. It recommends a radical overhaul of the tax system, proposing inefficiency charges on products that waste energy and water, and incentives to reward consumers for making greener choices.
The report argues that tax incentives should be linked to clear information, advice and branding. For example, inefficiency charges, levied on products such as disposable batteries and garden sprinklers, should be accompanied by prominent messages about the reason for the charge. A Council Tax reduction for energy efficient homes, together with targeted advice, would encourage people to install insulation. The Green Living Initiative would make the link between people’s awareness of environmental problems, and their understanding of what they can do about it in their own home.
The report, commissioned by Green Alliance and written by myself, Paul Ekins and Simon Dresner, received widespread media coverage, including BBC’s Today Programme, Guardian, FT and Independent; and was influential in setting the terms for the 2005 Budget.
Download the report here.