Two-thirds of UK public support restricting air travel to tackle climate change

18th September 2019

Web aviation istock 1036390630

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Transport ,
  • sea ice loss ,
  • Society


Steven Beane

Two-thirds of the UK public support limiting air travel in order to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change, a YouGov poll of over 2,000 people has uncovered.

Less than a quarter of the respondents said air travel should not be restricted, while more than three in five insisted that climate change mitigation requires a “high“ or “extremely high“ level of urgency.

The survey also found that just over half the UK public believe that people should reduce meat in their diets to tackle climate change, compared with a third that do not.

The research was commissioned by Cardiff University's Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation (CAST), which was praised by activist Greta Thunberg in a recorded message at its launch today.

“Our findings make clear that most people feel climate change is an urgent issue, and are willing to make significant changes to their own lifestyles to help tackle it,“ CAST director, professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, said.

“Changing travel and food habits are among the most impactful thing individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint – it's very encouraging that there's support among the public for making these changes.“

Moreover, the findings show that 61% of people support the UK parliament's decision to declare a 'climate emergency', with just 11% opposing the announcement.

This comes after a separate survey of over 1,000 Britons recently found that 85% are concerned about climate change, with 52% describing themselves as “very concerned“.

These were the highest levels recorded by Ipsos MORI since it started tracking the concern in 2005, and the first time that a majority registered as very concerned.

The polling also found that 55% of adults think that the UK should achieve net zero emissions before the 2050 target announced by the government earlier this year.

Ipsos MORI's head of energy and environment research, Antonia Dickman, said that the recent school climate strikes and Extinction Rebellion could be partly responsible for the findings.

“Public opinion is rebuilding in strength, and the record summer temperatures across the UK might also be contributing to an increasing sense that our country is already feeling the effects of climate change,“ she added.

Image credit: ©iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

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

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close