Do you prefer carrots or sticks?

Written by: Callie

Posted on August 9, 2018


Do you respond better to encouragements or penalties, “carrots” or “sticks”? Modern psychology tells us that rewards are more effective than punishments.

But do we keep to the speed limit because we wish to drive safely, or because we fear the repercussions of being caught speeding? Do we avoid parking on a double yellow line because it’s inconsiderate for nearby businesses and residents, or because we’ll get a ticket?

When it comes to incentivising the uptake of greener fuels, the UK government clearly isn’t sure which approach to take because it’s currently using both.

“Carrots” range from car scrappage schemes to allowing drivers to operate heavier hybrid vehicles than their license currently allows. “Sticks” include a growing number of Clean Air Zones in cities and higher taxes for older, more polluting engines.

But are they working?

Decide for yourself by reading about the pros and cons in issue seven of The Green Journey. Download it here.