Car-makers lambasted for over-promotion of gas-guzzlers

Car manufacturers have come under fire for spending most of their ad budgets on gas-guzzling vehicles.

Friends of the Earth claims the motor industry is not promoting "greener" cars, despite pressure to reduce carbon emissions to aid the fight against climate change. The group found that £3 million of the £5.5 million spent on national newspaper ads in a recent two-week period promoted the most-polluting vehicles, no improvement since its last survey in 2005. It said 96 per cent of the ads were for vehicles that breached the European Union's voluntary target that new cars sold by 2008-09 should emit no more than 140 grammes of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

Friends of the Earth said the figures exposed the claims by car-makers that motorists did not want to buy "green" cars and called for a campaign to urge drivers to "buy green".

Ministers may urge the industry to spend more money on promoting "greener" cars.

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