A fight for survival

Vast majority of Brits agree tackling climate change and nature loss is ‘essential for human survival’

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 7 May 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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New figures show that the vast majority of Brits now recognise that tackling climate change and nature loss is ‘essential for human survival’.

Just over 80% of respondents to a OnePoll survey commissioned by WWF agreed with this statement, a figure that climbed to 86% when asked about wildlife survival. 

We need a clear plan

Despite high levels of awareness of the threats posed by the climate and nature crisis, only a third of the UK public (33%) expressed any optimism about the chances of reducing carbon emissions fast enough to prevent harmful climate change.

Over three-quarters of respondents (78%) agreed that the UK Government must have a clear plan of action to deliver on its targets for these to be credible.

A net zero test for spending

With the crucial COP26 climate summit now just six months away, WWF is calling on the UK Government to pay heed to public opinion and lay out a credible plan as soon as possible for how it will deliver on its ambitious new target to cut greenhouse gas emissions 78% by the end of 2035, compared with 1990 levels. 

This call sits alongside WWF’s push for the Treasury to introduce a net zero test across all government spending, to ensure policies across every department align fully with climate goals.

‘Tackling the twin threats of climate change and nature loss is a fight for survival. Across the country, it’s clear that most people now recognise how much is at stake if we don’t act now to safeguard this planet – our one shared home. 

‘To inspire public confidence, the UK Government must show it can deliver on its ambitious new climate commitments, by publishing a credible plan without delay, outlining the steps it will take to cut carbon emissions radically by 2035. 

‘Ministers must also move forward with a net zero test for all government spending – this is the only way to guarantee new spending is compatible with climate goals. Steps like this will show that the UK Government truly means business, helping to accelerate progress at a global level ahead of COP26 – now just six months away.’

TANYA STEELE
Chief executive at WWF

Government: show leadership

According to the survey, the majority of Brits believe that driving global action to tackle the climate crisis also presents an opportunity for the UK Government to show global leadership.

Over three-quarters of respondents (76%) agreed that getting world leaders to develop an action plan to tackle the climate and nature crisis should be a top priority for the UK Government. 

69% suggested this would boost the UK’s standing in the world. 60% agreed that – if the UK leads on climate – other countries will follow.

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