An exclusive poll for the independent shows there is much support for a policy to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2030, and that many feel the impact of climate change on life in the UK will be negative. However, the UK Government will find some comfort in knowing that around 1 in 3 think that the UK is doing more than average to tackle climate change.

Between 8th – 10th January 2020, BMG asked 1,508 GB residents aged 18+ a series of questions about climate change. The findings show that over half (56%) think climate change will have a negative effect on life in the UK, compared to 1 in 5 (21%) who think it will have no impact and 13% who said it would be positive.

Support for a policy to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2030 was also high (70%) with just 7% not supporting the policy and 1 in 5 (19%) who neither support nor oppose it. A further 4% say they don’t know.

Around a third (32%) feel that the UK is doing more than the average country to tackle climate change, whereas less than 1 in 5 (18%) feel the UK is doing less than average. Nearly two fifths say the UK id about average in its efforts to tackle climate change and 12% say they do not know.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew Price, BMG Senior Research Executive, said:

“The findings of this poll certainly point towards a public attitude of active concern towards climate change. Over half feel that climate change will actively have a negative impact on life in the UK, whereas just 1 in 5 feel it will have no effect. As may be expected, this view is particularly likely to be held by the younger generation (18-24), but is still prevalent with respondents of other ages.

“Moreover, most of the public have responded very positively towards the policy of reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2030. Interestingly, nearly two thirds (65%) of Conservative voters support the policy too, despite it being a Labour party pledge during the 2019 General Election.

“However, some of these findings should be taken with a pinch of salt. Whilst they certainly do show a high level of public concern with climate change and a desire to tackle the issue, these questions do not take into account mediating factors.

“Whilst 7 in 10 support the policy to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2030, this does not take into other factors. For example, respondents may have felt differently if they knew which political party or which government was in charge of carrying out this policy. Furthermore, if respondents knew the costs associated with reaching this target, or how it could affect their day-to-day lives, then they may have answered differently.

“But despite apparent concern about the potential impacts of climate change, and a desire for a more rigorous zero emission target, most respondents seem to place the UK either average or above average in terms of tackling climate change. Only 1 in 6 feel that the UK is doing less than average to tackle this issue.

An article based on these polling results, released by the Independent, can be found here.

Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results, as well as results from another article for the Independent, can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


0121 333 6006

Ciaran McGlone – Senior Research Executive

Share this article: