Most Britons think climate change as serious as COVID-19

Two thirds of Britons believe climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19 and more than half think it should be prioritised in the economic recovery, according to new research.

Posted on 27 May 2020

Two thirds of Britons believe climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19 and more than half think it should be prioritised in the economic recovery, according to new research.

The findings are part of a global survey conducted across 14 countries by Ipsos MORI. In all countries the majority of respondents agreed that climate change was just as serious as COVID-19 in the long-term, with an overall average of 71 per cent.

Respondents in China were the most likely to agree (87 per cent), while people in Australia and the US were the least likely (59 per cent).

Majority want green recovery

In Britain, 58 per cent of people said it was important that economic recovery measures following COVID-19 prioritise action on climate change, slightly below the global average of 65 per cent. When asked if the government should focus on repairing the economy first-and-foremost, even if it meant taking measures that would negatively impact the environment, more than two fifths disagreed.

Kelly Beaver, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: “It is clear that while we deal with the Coronavirus crisis, Britons are still concerned with the environmental issues facing the world and the country.”

Support for carbon footprint labelling

The findings came at the same time as a separate YouGov poll which revealed that 63 per cent of UK consumers support the introduction of carbon footprint labels on products. The proportion of respondents saying it was important to know if companies they were purchasing from were taking action to reduce their products’ carbon footprint has increased by more than ten per cent since 2016.

Hugh Jones, managing director at the Carbon Trust, which commissioned the research, explained: “We know that companies have much to gain by quantifying the carbon footprints of their products and services, a process that gives insight into where they can create efficiencies.

“The sustained and high levels of consumer support for carbon labelling suggests that passing this information on to increasingly well-informed and climate-conscious consumers can also enhance a company's reputation and market share.”

 

Posted under General Interest and Climate Change and What it Means to You on 27 May 2020