Montreal, Quebec – Drivers want to take a leadership role in reducing car emissions, and even the economic downturn hasn’t dampened the environment as a household priority, according to a new poll commissioned by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

According to the poll, some 56 per cent of Canadians believe that reducing the environmental impact of driving would make a big difference in terms of environmental progress overall, with another 34 per cent saying it would make a “little bit” of difference. Quebec residents were even more vocal in believing such a move would make a big difference, with 67 per cent expressing this belief.

Nationally, 49 per cent of drivers said they believe they can do a lot to reduce the environmental impact of their transportation activities, while 62 per cent of Quebecers said that a lot can be done.

Even in the current economic climate, three out of four drivers said the environment remains as high a priority as the economy, a trend that was evident in all regions of Canada, including Quebec where 71 per cent said the environment was a key priority.

Motorists were also asked whether having tools to help them reduce the environmental impact of driving would be helpful. Overall, 80 per cent of drivers said that such tools would be “very” or “somewhat” useful, while only 13 per cent said they would not be useful at all. Residents in Quebec and Ontario expressed the highest level of interest in gaining access to such tools.

“Canadian drivers are committed to environmental progress and recognize they can make a difference in reducing emissions, both in terms of how they drive, and in terms of what they drive,” said Jeff Walker, CAA chief strategy officer. “CAA is committed to being an enabler for its members, and for all Canadians to reduce the environmental impacts of driving.”

CAA has partnered with environmental firm Pollution Probe to create an all-new Primer on Automobile Fuel Efficiency and Emissions, and in conjunction with CAA-Québec, has developed several fuel efficiency tools. The program will be formally introduced at the Montréal Science Centre on November 26.

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