Nearly two-thirds of people in the UK more concerned about climate change

The impacts of climate change have been increasingly felt around the world in recent years. Governments, businesses and citizens alike are urged to take steps to reduce their environmental impact. The reality is that climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet.

Recent weather events, such as heatwaves, floods and fires this year, have made nearly two-thirds (60%) of people in the UK more concerned about climate change. A further 59% are also worried about weather reports from other countries, including in Australia and America, according to new research[1].

Renewable energy sources
The good news is that green investments and pensions have grown in popularity over recent years as more people become aware of the climate crisis and its implications. These initiatives allow investors to allocate their capital into sustainable funds, which support businesses and projects that promote a cleaner environment and renewable energy.

Such steps could include investing in renewable energy sources, reducing single-use plastics usage or becoming more mindful of energy consumption. It is not too late to make a positive impact. If we all work together and take steps to reduce our emissions, we can help ensure that future generations will be able to live in a world where the effects of climate change are properly managed and minimised.

UN climate summit
Two out of five (42%) people have said that the UN climate summits have made an impact on their climate change concerns – and 40% said that having children and grandchildren has made them worried about climate change.

This has spurred many to take action and live more sustainably in the last 12 months. Most popular planned changes include reducing plastic usage (71%), shopping locally (62%), driving less (53%) or buying an electric or hybrid vehicle (32%), and consuming less meat and dairy (49%).

Cost-saving measures
However, the cost of living crisis is making it difficult for people in the UK to take action on climate change. The majority (65%) are concerned about the cost of living and a third (34%) are understandably now more concerned with their energy bills as opposed to living sustainably.
Many people are taking cost-saving measures this winter. Shockingly, 12% are even anticipating skipping meals. Sustainability is unlikely to be the priority with almost four in ten (38%) thinking that it’s too expensive to live more sustainably.

Source data:
[1] Royal London surveyed 2,000 nationally representative UK adults aged over 18. Research was carried out by Opinium between 14 October and 18 October 2022.