Poll Shows British Public Wants Urgent Action on Climate Change

The British public wants urgent action on climate change, and strongly supports holding fossil fuel companies and the UK government accountable for the negative effects of climate change, a ground breaking new survey from ClientEarth reveals.

After a record heatwave in the UK and northern Europe, the majority of British people think fossil fuel companies, whose products contribute directly to climate change, should be made to pay damages for their role in contributing to global warming (71%), and also that the UK government must do more to help prepare for and adapt to climate change (62%).

Undertaken by YouGov and commissioned by environment lawyers ClientEarth, the survey involved more than 2000 adults, and aimed to capture British public sentiment towards who should pay for climate change, fossil fuel investments in personal finance and what the future of Britain’s energy should look like.

Key results of ClientEarth’s Climate Snapshot include:

  • Almost two-thirds of people think the UK government is not doing enough in adapting to climate change and limiting global temperature increases;
  • More than eight in ten believe that fossil fuel companies who knew about climate change early on and continue to lobby against taking action should be responsible in some way for the costs of major weather events (83%);
  • Almost three quarters of consumers would be interested in joining a community energy scheme if the government made it easier (71%), and individuals were keen to install their own solar panels (62%) and home energy storage (60%);
  • Three-fifths would be interested in a financial institution, such as a bank account or pension fund, that considers the climate change impacts of the companies it invests in (62%).
  • Almost two-thirds thought investing in fossil fuel companies was risky long-term and more than half thought such companies could not be trusted to change their business model;
  • More than two thirds were in favour of breaking up the Big Six’s market share to allow smaller, cleaner, and locally owned energy systems to develop (68%).