More than two thirds of people in the UK want faster political action to fight climate change, according to a poll.
A survey of over 2,000 people was conducted by researchers from the environmental charities Greener UK and the Climate Coalition. Both these charities consist of over 130 organisations, including Oxfam, WWF, RSPB, the National Trust, Mumsnet, the Women’s Institute and the National Union of Students. The study found that 69% of people want to see ‘urgent political action’ to tackle the climate crisis.
Around three quarters of people asked in the survey said that climate change and environmental issues concerned them, and 71% said they wanted their local MP to take more responsibility in tackling the issue. 77% of people believe that climate change issues are more mainstream today than they have ever been, while 58% said they talk more about the climate and environment now than they did five years ago.
Last week, the government announced that the UK will commit to producing net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century, but the majority of the British public want to see this action taken faster. Over 14,000 people from up and down the country are expected to be in Westminster on June 26 to demand urgent action from MPs, in a rally being called ‘The Time is Now’.
“The government’s decision to set a net zero target in law was clearly a response to calls for action from voters which have grown louder and louder in recent months,” said Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at the Climate Coalition. “Now we need our politicians to put policies in place to deliver on that target, as well as measures to clean up the air we breathe and the plastic in our seas.
“The findings in this poll make clear the scale of support for action in the form of statistics. The people travelling to Westminster to speak to MPs next week will show what that support looks like in person.”
Rosie Harden-Vane, a member of the Seaton Valley Women’s Institute who will be attending The Time is Now lobby, said: “It’s a big leap for me because I have never done anything like this before and feel quite nervous. However, if I can’t make my voice heard, I would be turning my back on the most important issue of our time.
“If we don’t change the way we are treating our planet with immediate effect, in my lifetime (I’m 66) the decline will be irreversible. Species lost forever, homes and land lost to rising sea levels, plastic and chemicals poisoning the land, the water, plants and animals – including ourselves.”
Sir Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat MP and former climate change minister, said: “Whilst the UK government’s announcement on net zero UK is a welcome milestone, the time is now to rid the UK of its most embarrassing climate policies: we need to stop subsidising fossil fuels, bring back zero carbon homes, ban fracking, bring back the Green Investment Bank and onshore wind, and tackle the finance sector which is responsible for financing businesses which emit 15 times more carbon than the whole UK.”