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Reports & guides | 31 October 2022

Developing an evidence-based toolkit for car reduction

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How can we build awareness of and engage people around transitioning to lower-carbon transport lifestyles? We worked with our partner the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and the Scottish Government to explore this, and share recommendations in this report and the accompanying launch webinar below. This work was carried out in the context of Scotland, but its lessons may be of interest to other parts of the world.

The Scottish Government declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is focused on tangible plans for decarbonisation as part of its Climate Change Plan – aiming to achieve net zero in Scotland by 2045.

Transport is Scotland’s largest sectoral emitter, with cars accounting for the biggest portion of transport emissions. Therefore, reducing car use is a fundamental part of emission reduction, with Scotland’s Climate Plan 2020 setting out a commitment and route-map to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030.

With investment and infrastructure measures underway, the Scottish Government recognises the importance of public engagement and policy co-production in reaching targets – putting people and partnerships at the heart of the transition.

This report aimed to inform the Scottish Government’s national conversation and policy development on car use reduction through a public engagement programme. The work involved an evidence review of what Scottish people think about car reduction, hypothetical ‘pen portraits’ of six categories of stakeholders, and message testing in order to ensure communications resonate with Scottish people.

The appendices provide supporting material. The project was made possible with the support of the University of Bath.

We talked through the project in the webinar below, hosted with CAST, which explored a number of projects with governments and communities across the UK aiming to reduce transport emissions in ways that make sense for – and bring co-benefits to – people.


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