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Climate change code red: Now 90% of Londoners say they’re worried – Evening Standard

B

ritons are ready to embrace the electric car revolution, according to an exclusive new poll — which also showed the vast majority of Londoners are “concerned” about climate change.

The Ipsos MORI survey for the Standard also highlighted public worries over widespread reluctance across the country for people to eat less meat, fly less and turn the heating down to combat global warming.

Nearly three-quarters of adults in Britain believe global warming is already hitting the country. The findings came as the world was put on “code red” alert last week, with the publication of an alarming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning of the pace and dangers of global warming. The poll showed:

A total of 57 per cent of adults think people in Britain are willing to buy electric cars rather than petrol or diesel to help to tackle climate change, compared with 26 per cent who took the opposite view, a net score of +31.

However, 61 per cent of people believe Britons are unwilling to take fewer flights, with just 22 per cent saying they are willing to do so, net result -39.

The figures for eating less meat were 48 per cent unwilling and 32 per cent willing, net finding -16.

For using central heating less it was 48 per cent unwilling and 31 per cent willing, net score -17.

About 65 per cent think people are willing to buy greener technology to combat global warming, such as environmentally-friendly heater systems, with 19 per cent unwilling, net result +46.

The view on cycling, walking or using public transport more instead of driving was more evenly split, with 42 per cent believing people would be willing and 37 per cent saying unwilling, net score +5.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “Public concern about climate change remains at very high levels among all groups, bolstered by a belief that Britain is already feeling its effects.

“But despite this widespread concern, and hope that people might switch their spending towards greener technologies and electric cars, the public think it will be much harder to persuade their fellow Brits to make lifestyle changes such as eating less meat, taking fewer flights, or using less central heating, illustrating the scale of the challenge ahead.”

The survey showed 85 per cent of people are concerned about global warming. These worries are highest in London, at 92 per cent, followed by the wider South 89 per cent, the North at 84 per cent and Midlands 80 per cent.

In the capital, 58 per cent said they are “very concerned” and 34 per cent “fairly concerned”. More women than men in Britain are concerned about climate change, 88 and 82 per cent. Similarly, 77 per cent of women believe global warming is already affecting the country and 69 per cent of men.

The study stressed temperature rises of 1.5C and 2C above pre-industrial levels, limits countries have committed to in order to avoid the most dangerous global warming impacts, will be exceeded this century unless there are deep reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades.

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,113 adults in Britain between July 30 and August 9. Data are weighted; ipsos-mori.com

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