UK public remains supportive of net-zero target

8th August 2023


More than two-thirds of UK adults support the country’s target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, with less than a fifth opposed, new polling has uncovered.

Specifically, the findings show that 70% of the public support the net-zero target, compared with 18% who do not. This sentiment is similar among Conservative voters, with 73% supportive, versus 19% opposed.

The findings also suggest that most people would support a political party that puts forward policies associated with achieving net zero, with 65% saying they want the UK to generate more electricity from renewables, compared with 7% who don’t.

On the other hand, 49% said they would be embarrassed by a party that reduced the number of homes being insulated, versus 13% who would be supportive, while 44% would be ashamed by a ban on solar panels in fields, compared with 14% who would be supportive.

The findings, published by the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, come just over a week since the government was criticised for announcing plans to grant more than 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences.

IEMA CEO, Sarah Mukherjee MBE, commented: “This polling shows that the UK public is still firmly behind the country's net-zero target, regardless of which political party they support.

“Tackling climate change and environmental damage are vote winners, and politicians should remain mindful of this ahead of the party conference season.

IEMA has put forward policy recommendations on climate change and energy, biodiversity and natural capital, impact assessment, circular economy, and green jobs and skills, which we hope the government will prioritise throughout the remainder of this year and in 2024.”

Climate change and the environment remain a top four issue for the respondents, behind the economy, health and immigration, although other polls have shown it to be higher among the public’s top concerns.

Furthermore, a survey by the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit last month found that MPs were out of touch with their constituents on support for new onshore wind, with 47% thinking their constituents would oppose it, despite 71% of the public saying they would support it.

The organisation’s director, Peter Chalkley, said: “Some of the current debate around net zero seems to deliberately divorce itself from climate change. The simple fact of the matter is climate change won’t be halted unless we collectively hit net-zero emissions.

“The public is clear in its support for tackling climate change and the net-zero target."

Image credit: Shutterstock

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