As the main political parties compete for the affections of the climate lobby, a new ComRes poll today reveals the extent to which the message of climate change and the need to tackle it is getting through to the British public.
The poll reveals:
- A majority of British adults, 54%, now believe that ‘climate change threatens our extinction as a species’. Just one in four (25%) disagree.
- Two-thirds of adults, 67%, believe that human activity ‘is the principal cause behind climate change’.
- Around half the public, 51%, would be willing to forego ‘at least’ one overseas trip per year for the sake of the climate.
Despite the public taking on board the need to tackle climate change, only one in four (26%) say they support the aims and tactics of Extinction Rebellion, and almost two-thirds (64%) say it was ‘hypocritical’ of Emma Thompson to fly 5,000 miles to take part in the climate change protests.
While most people are concerned over climate change and its possible impact, a substantial proportion of the public take a more sceptical view. Almost one in three adults, 29%, say they would be more willing to protest about high fuel prices than climate change - and one in five, 22%, believe the impact of climate change ‘as been exaggerated’.
Four in ten, 39%, do not believe that climate change threatens our extinction as a species but concede that ‘it does need to be tackled’.
Andrew Hawkins, ComRes Chairman, said of the findings: “The public are clearly taking on board the message that climate change is real and is a threat, spurred on no doubt by warnings from people they trust such as Sir David Attenborough. It is also clear that belief that human agency is to blame is on the increase, with a ten percentage point increase over the past five years.”
“While most of the public are agreed on the problem and its cause, the poll finds the public less enthusiastic about how Extinction Rebellion is bringing its message to the country. Its aims and tactics are far more likely to appeal to people under 25, so it is little surprise that the Group’s warning message of human extinction has less resonance with older age groups.”