Climate change: Majority believe government doing too little to combat global warming, poll suggests | Climate News


Around six in 10 people think the UK is not doing enough to tackle climate change, according to a new poll.

A new poll conducted for the Cafod aid agency shows that almost half of those asked believe the government is not committed to its climate goals.

More than a third also thought the UK is not providing sufficient support to poorer countries, which is likely to be a key objective discussed at the upcoming COP27 in Egypt.

The UK government has set a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by the end of 2050 and hosted COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.

Yet since then, ministers have approved more than 100 new licences for North Sea oil and gas drilling.

And Rishi Sunak has sparked controversy by refusing to confirm he will attend the UN’s climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh which starts on 6 November.

Meanwhile, experts say the world is far from meeting its target to limit global warming to the 1.5C goal set by the Paris Climate Accord at COP21.

The survey found 58% of people thought the government had done too little to confront climate change over the past year, in comparison to 8% who thought ministers had done too much, and 15% who believed they did an appropriate amount.

Overall, 47% of people polled by Cafod said they believed the government was not committed to meeting its net zero goal, while 19% thought it was.

Yet when the 3,305 people surveyed by YouGov poll were asked which issue deserved the government’s attention the most, more said the cost-of-living crisis, economy and health before the environment and climate change.

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Around 40% of those surveyed who voted Conservative in 2019, thought the Government had done too little in general on climate change in the past year, compared to 14% who thought they had done too much.

The poll also found that 37% thought the UK was not doing enough to support poorer countries heavily impacted by climate change, while 19% thought Britain was doing an appropriate amount and 14% thought it was doing too much.

Graham Gordon, Cafod’s head of public policy, said: “The reality of the climate crisis is already here. In the UK, our summer saw 40C heat and even now in winter, we’ve had temperatures hit 20C.”

But he cautioned that in other countries around the world, the impact of climate change has been more “deadly”.

He added: “There is a devastating drought in east Africa leaving millions on the brink of famine and deadly floods in Pakistan which have wrecked communities and taken many lives.

“It has become painfully clear the government’s knee-jerk reaction to pursue more fossil fuels will not only cause more devastation, but it’s against the public wishes too.”

It comes amid a campaign of civil action by Just Stop Oil, among others, protesting against government inaction over the climate, which on Tuesday saw activists attempt to climb the gates of Downing Street and block Whitehall by sitting in the road – the day after the group spray painted several central London buildings.


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