Almost 70% of Britons want faster political action on climate change, poll finds

They say government's proposed legislation to cut UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 isn't soon enough

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 19 June 2019 13:19 BST
15-year-old shakes her head as all five conservative leader candidates argue over climate change

Almost 70 per cent of British people want urgent political action to tackle climate change and protect the environment, a poll suggests.

The government has proposed legislation to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

But 69 per cent of people questioned by researchers for Greener UK and the Climate Coalition said they wanted to see this happen faster.

Of the 2,000 people quizzed in the Opinium survey, three-quarters said they were concerned about climate change, while 71 per cent want their MP to back ambitious plans to protect nature and curb rising temperatures.

The issues have risen up the agenda amid increasing scientific warnings about climate change and species going extinct, the poll suggests.

Some 58 per cent said they now talk more about climate and the environment than they did five years ago, and more than three quarters (77 per cent) agreed the issues were more mainstream than ever before.

More than 14,000 people from across the UK have signed up to meet their local MP at Westminster and demand urgent action.

Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at the Climate Coalition, said: “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.

“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.

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“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 Seaton Valley Women’s Institute who will take part in the lobby, said it was a “big leap” for her to take part in “The Time is Now” event.

But she added: “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.”

The Time is Now lobby is organised by campaign groups the Climate Coalition and Greener UK, which consist of more than 130 organisations ranging from aid agencies such as Cafod and Christian Aid to community groups including the Women’s Institute and environmental organisations such as WWF and RSPB.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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