Britons would rather go veggie to tackle climate change than pay more tax, poll reveals – iNews
More Britons would be willing to cut back on meat than pay extra in taxes to tackle climate change, a new poll has revealed.
The survey by BMG Research for i shows 34 per cent of people would reduce their meat consumption, go vegetarian or vegan, compared to 21 per cent who would be more willing to pay for measures to cut carbon emissions.
Nearly half of people – 47 per cent – are less willing to pay more in tax to reduce global warming. A third of people say cutting back on meat would make no difference, while 30 per cent are less willing to give up their regular intake of chicken or lamb.
Some 44 per cent would be willing to change the way they travel – such as switching to public transport or to greener cars, while 18 per cent say they would be less willing to do so.
The figures suggest that, with the cost of living continuing to bite, people would prefer to change their behaviour than pay more to the Treasury for efforts to reach net zero emissions.
The recent heatwave, in which temperatures soared to 40.3C in England, has pushed climate change up the agenda and the poll shows that the extreme weather has hardened people’s views on how concerned they are about climate change.
Some 54 per cent are more worried about the issue due to the recent record temperatures.
However opinions have not shifted dramatically among those who were already not worried about the issue.
Of those who were already very or quite worried about climate change, 78 per cent say the recent extreme weather has made them more concerned.
But for those who were previously not very worried about climate change, 68 per cent say the recent heatwave made no real difference to their views.
The poll also shows the cost of living is the most important issue for Britons. When asked to choose from several challenges facing the country, 83 per cent pick cost of living, while 54 per cent say the economy. Six out of ten choose the NHS. Issues like immigration, crime, the environment and housing are each picked by a third of people.
When asked to select only one challenge facing the UK, cost of living comes top, with 51 per cent of Britons saying it is the most important issue.
The economy and the NHS/covid are in second place, but way behind on 8 per cent each, while the environment is chosen by 7 per cent.
Jack Curry, pollster at BMG, said: “The recent extreme heat clearly left an impression, with over half the public saying they are more worried about climate change because of severe weather. However, for those with a low level of worry there has been less of a difference made, suggesting a hardening of opinion rather than a considerable shift in views.
“While the recent weather has spurred a willingness to change among some, increasing personal taxes, even when directly linked with measures to tackle emissions, is a difficult sell in the middle of financial hardship for many.
“It is perhaps telling that more of the British public say they’d be willing to cut back on meat or switch to a vegetarian diet than say they would pay more in tax to reach net zero.”
BMG Research interviewed a representative sample of 1,618 GB adults online between 26th – 28th July. Data are weighted. BMG are members of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.