Climate change survey says 83% willing to make sacrifices

More than 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a serious threat and are willing to make sacrifices to combat it, a survey by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) showed today.

Just 17 per cent of the 1,000 people polled were not prepared to change their travel habits to tackle the climate change problem.



Of the rest, all thought that climate change was either a serious or very serious threat to the British way of life.



The poll found:



* 9 per cent were prepared to make significant changes to their travel habits, such as getting rid of their car altogether or cutting out air travel completely;



* 38 per cent were happy to make moderate changes, such as investing in a green car, starting a car-share scheme or limiting air travel;



* 36 per cent would make minimal changes, such as taking public transport or riding a bike more often.



The survey coincided with the release of the ICE's report, State of the Nation - Low Carbon Infrastructure, which explained why infrastructure, alongside behaviour change and political action is fundamental to creating a low-carbon society.



The report concluded that to meet ambitious carbon targets, new and existing transport, energy, waste and water networks needed to be adapted and developed to minimise emissions and highlighted the role this infrastructure had to play in changing individual and collective behaviours.



Among the short-term solutions identified in the report were rail electrification, which had the potential to reduce the carbon impact of the railways, onshore and offshore wind farms, an upgrade of the energy grid and combined heat and power plants.



ICE president Paul Jowitt said: "Delivering cuts in emissions on the scale needed and within the time restraints that exist will require radical changes in behaviour and society.



"However, public behaviour is restricted by the choices available to them. We need to transform the infrastructure that makes up the fabric of society and underpins economic activity so that the only choices we make are low carbon ones."

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