Only one in four British people is prepared to pay more for energy in order to reduce climate change, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday.
Climate change talks since Kyoto in 1997 have assumed that higher prices for fossil fuels worldwide are needed to mitigate global warming, but the poll found only 23 per cent agreed with the statement: “I would be prepared to pay more for energy bills in order to reduce climate change”; 57 per cent disagreed and 20 per cent didn’t know.
Young people are more likely to say they would pay more. Of the 18-to-24 age group, 37 per cent agreed and 40 per cent disagreed, while among those aged 65 and over, only 19 per cent agreed and 61 per cent disagreed. Green Party voters are the most likely to support higher bills, followed by Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative and Ukip voters, in that order; only 9 per cent of Ukip supporters agreed.
In the past, IoS polls have found high levels of support for the statement; in 2009, 83 per cent agreed that “I am ready to make significant changes to the way I live to help prevent global warming or climate change”.
But when specific changes are proposed that cost households money, levels of support are much lower; some of that drop may be attributable to people thinking that they are already paying enough through green levies on their energy bills.
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