Concern over environment hits 30-year high

23rd September 2021


Web p7 Concern over environment hits 30 year high i Stock 1126419555

Related Topics

Author

IEMA

The UK public is the more concerned about the environment than it has been for the last 30 years.

The Ipsos MORI findings show that 32% of adults see the environment and climate change as a big issue, making it the second-biggest concern after COVID-19. The last time concern was greater was in July 1989, when the highest temperature since 1976 was recorded at Heathrow and 35% mentioned the environment as a worry.

Perhaps surprisingly, the poll of 1,000 adults found that older people were more likely to mention the environment as a concern, with 38% of the over-55s saying it is a big issue, compared with 24% of 18-34 year-olds. However, there was little political split, with supporters of the Conservative and Labour parties – and those who support no party – similarly likely to mention it as a concern, on 30%, 33% and 28%, respectively.

The research was conducted in the week that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned that human activity has driven unprecedented changes to the climate, and that global temperatures are set to hit 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels during the next 20 years – a decade earlier than expected.

Public concern about the environment has reached a “historically high level”, said Mike Clemence, a researcher at Ipsos MORI. “But this jump in concern is built on a steady rise in the level of worry on this topic, which has been building since around 2015.”

Image credit | iStock

Transform articles

National climate plans could see fossil fuel demand peak by 2025

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

Climate change remains one of the top issues most concerning the UK public, despite the economic turmoil experienced over the last 18 months, a poll commissioned by IEMA has found.

15th October 2021

Read more

Almost one-third of Europe's largest companies have now set net-zero emissions targets, but far less are set to deliver on their ambitions.

7th October 2021

Read more

A group of world-leading climate scientists has today warned that carbon pricing is currently too low to deliver a just transition to a net-zero economy, and that "urgent reforms" are needed.

30th September 2021

Read more

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Kew has today unveiled a new strategy to tackle biodiversity loss and develop sustainable nature-based solutions to some of humanity’s biggest global challenges.

28th September 2021

Read more

How to Save Our Planet is call to action that aims to equip everyone with the knowledge needed to make change. We need to deal with climate change, environmental destruction and global poverty, and ensure everyone’s security.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Hannah Lesbirel and Beccy Wilson speak to IEMA members about climate anxiety

23rd September 2021

Read more

Seven of the UK's 17 key industry sectors are still increasing their emissions year-on-year, and most will miss their 2050 net-zero targets without significant government action, new research suggests.

23rd September 2021

Read more

The UK government’s former chief scientific adviser Sir David King talks to Chris Seekings about his career, the latest IPCC report, COVID-19 and COP26

23rd September 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert