Climate change: Majority think government is doing too little to fight global warming, poll finds | Climate News

Around six in ten people think the UK is not doing enough to tackle climate change, according to a new poll.

A new poll conducted for aid agency Cafod shows nearly half of those polled think the government is not committed to its climate goals.

More than a third also think the UK is not providing enough support to poorer countries, which is likely to be a key objective discussed at the upcoming COP27 in Egypt.

The UK government has set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by the end of 2050 and hosted the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.

Yet since then, ministers approved more than 100 new licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

And Rishi Sunak caused controversy by refusing to confirm that he will attend the UN climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh which starts on November 6th.

Meanwhile, experts say the world is far from reaching its goal limit global warming to the 1.5°C target set by the Paris climate agreement at COP21.

The survey found that 58% of people thought the government had done too little to tackle climate change in the past year, compared with 8% who thought ministers had done too much and 15% who thought they had makes an appropriate amount.

Overall, 47% of people polled by Cafod said they believed the government was not committed to its net zero target, while 19% believed it was.

Yet when the 3,305 respondents to the YouGov poll were asked which issue most deserved the government’s attention, most answered the cost of living crisis, the economy and health before the environment and climate change.

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About 40% of those polled who voted for the Conservatives in 2019 thought the government had done too little overall on climate change over the past year, compared with 14% who thought it had done too much.

The poll also found that 37% thought the UK was not doing enough to support poorer countries hard hit by climate change, while 19% thought Britain was doing an appropriate amount and 14% thought she was overdoing it.

Graham Gordon, Cafod’s public policy manager, said: “The reality of the climate crisis is already here. In the UK our summer has seen 40C heat and even now in winter we have had temperatures reaching 20°C.”

But he warned that in other countries around the world the impact of climate change has been more “deadly”.

He added: “There is a devastating drought in East Africa that is leaving millions on the brink of famine and deadly floods in Pakistan that have destroyed communities and claimed many lives.

“It has become painfully clear that the government’s knee-jerk reaction to pursue more fossil fuels will not only cause more devastation, but also against the will of the public.”

It comes amid a civil action campaign by Just Stop Oil and others to protest the Government’s inaction on climate, which on Tuesday saw activists attempt to storm the gates of Downing Street and blockade Whitehall while sitting on the road – the next day the spray painted band several buildings in central London.

Teresa H. Sadler