Public support grows for climate action

Two-thirds of UK adults believe that the government should do more to tackle climate change, up from just over half in 2017, a recent YouGov survey has uncovered.


The polling of 1,704 adults also found that 29% feel more worried about climate change now than they did before the COVID-19 crisis a year ago, compared with 15% who feel less worried.

Only 17% of respondents now consider the issue to be of low importance, while 47% said it was of high importance.

The findings come less than 10 months before Glasgow hosts the COP26 UN climate summit, with 60% of adults saying it's important for the UK to be a global leader on climate, and 51% believing the country should show more leadership.

“A climate crisis cannot be tackled with targets alone, these need to be turned into action,” said Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at The Climate Coalition, which commissioned the survey.

“The government has support from the British public, we now need them to supercharge their actions and influence the rest of the world ahead of hosting the UN climate summit in November.”

The British government has vowed to lead the way, setting out its own target to reduce emissions by at least 68% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, and promising a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, the latest survey found that 44% of adults believe that the UK is not currently doing enough to tackle climate change domestically.

Moreover, a score card produced by members of The Climate Coalition – which include the RSPB, WWF, National Trust, Oxfam and the Women’s Institute – shows that the government is only taking strong enough action in one out of 10 areas.

The coalition is now encouraging the UK public to sign its declaration for a “cleaner, greener fairer future for us all”.

Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF UK, said: “The UK government can show real leadership at the climate summit later this year. Our leaders have taken steps in the right direction, but must go further with both action and investment if we are to protect our planet for future generations.”


Image credit: Shutterstock


Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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