UK public remains supportive of climate action, but cost fears rising

13th March 2024


The UK government’s latest Public Attitudes Tracker has found broad support for efforts to tackle climate change, although there are significant concerns that bills will rise.

After surveying 4,000 adults, the researchers found that 84% agreed that we can reduce the effects of climate change “if everyone does their bit”, with 55% agreeing strongly, and just 7% disagreeing.

A whopping 98% said that they did at least one thing to reduce their impact, with recycling the most common behaviour on 85%, followed by minimising energy use on 80% and cutting food waste on 77%, while 49% choose to walk or cycle instead of using a car.

However, the poll also found that 69% expect the transition to net zero to increase their living expenses over the next one to two years, with only 7% expecting a decrease.

And despite many studies indicating the transition to be beneficial for the UK economy, 37% expect the impact to be negative in the short term, compared with 21% who anticipate a positive effect, and 19% not expecting any change.

In contrast, 52% expect the long-term impact in 10 years or more to be positive, with just 18% thinking it will be negative.

The researchers said, however, that there was a “relatively high degree of uncertainty”, with around two in 10 saying they did not know what the economic impact would be in the short term and long term.

The survey also found that 80% of respondents were at least “fairly concerned” about climate change, although this is down from the 85% recorded in Autumn 2021.

Between the summer and winter of last year, the proportion who were “very concerned” about climate change fell from 40% to 37%

TV and radio documentaries and TV news were trusted more than newspapers to provide accurate information about climate change, on 71%, 63% and 40%, respectively, although how strongly people trusted them remained fairly weak for all three media sources.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Subscribe

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


Transform articles

Swing voters show strong support for renewables

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Tom Harris examines the supply chain constraints facing the growing number of interconnector projects

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

A consortium including IEMA and the Good Homes Alliance have drafted a letter to UK government ministers expressing disappointment with the proposed Future Homes Standard.

26th February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Three-quarters of UK adults are concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their bills, according to polling commissioned by Positive Money.

13th February 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