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UK Insights

Majority say we're not doing enough to tackle climate change

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Green 2014 22.09.2014 / 17:00

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UK poll as the UN Climate Summit in New York begins

As UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and world leaders, from government, finance and business gather at the Climate Summit 2014, 66.6% of British people say we're not doing enough to tackle climate change.

The poll, conducted by Kantar's Lightspeed GMI of 2,670 people, found that women and younger people are more likely to think we're not doing enough to address the problem, compared to men and older people. 

Elisa Birtwistle, Associate Director at Kantar's The Futures Company says: "There is an important tension in people's mind between what they can do and what governments and corporations can do. In terms of things they feel they can do, such as: recycling, being careful to avoid waste, making responsible consumer choices, they tend to feel they're doing everything they can. Beyond what they're doing already, they feel the only way to have an impact is for governments and corporations to prioritise the issue of climate change, which feels as if it's slipped even further down the political agenda in light of the global economic crisis. On a global scale the pattern tends to be that a large proportion of people feel that they, as individuals are doing what they can, but that their governments and corporations aren't doing enough."

The climate summit website says that 'there is a sense that change is in the air' and that the event 'provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action'.

Data from The Futures Company's Global MONITOR shows 39% of British people feel that they and their families are already personally experiencing the consequences of climate change.

Pen Stuart, a consultant at Kantar's The Futures Company says: "Consumers have been hearing about climate change for many years. It's always been something that is considered a concern, but not always one that people have taken pro-active action on. What we're seeing now is that there has been a shift in the way people see the issue of climate change - it's gone from being a remote issue that will affect future generations or that affects people in other countries, to being something that is starting to feel like a real and present danger. Because people are now experiencing the impacts of climate change first hand, flash flooding in the UK, forest fires in Australia, the issue is starting to shift in people's mind from something abstract, global and threatening the future, to something tangible, local and threatening the present. This signals a shift in consumer mind-set, the issue appears to be becoming more personally relevant and emotionally resonant for people."

Source : Kantar, Lightspeed, Kantar Futures

Editor's Notes

Journalists looking for more information or to request a poll, please contact us.

2,670 British people were asked 'Do you think we doing enough to tackle climate change?' on 22nd September 2014. Download the full data tables above.

The Futures Company's Global MONITOR data had a UK sample of 971, to find out more visit the Futures Company website.

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