Brits ‘confused over sources of emissions’

The public is “increasingly concerned” about tackling climate change in the UK but have little understanding of the sources of emissions. That’s according to a new poll which revealed 37% […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The public is “increasingly concerned” about tackling climate change in the UK but have little understanding of the sources of emissions.

That’s according to a new poll which revealed 37% of people believe this month’s floods were caused as a result of climate change.

However when questioned about energy sources, almost 20% believe nuclear is the cheapest form of power generation while onshore wind was identified as more costly than offshore wind when the reverse is true.

People are also confused about which sectors contribute most to climate change, according to the survey.

It claims the public “underestimates” emissions generated by energy use in buildings, the second largest source of carbon emissions after power generation.

It adds more people questioned said transport, excluding aviation, is the primary source of carbon emissions.

The poll from WWF-UK also claims almost a quarter of MPs believe agriculture contributes the most carbon “when in reality it ranks behind power generation, buildings and transport”.

Emma Pinchbeck, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF-UK said: “It is particularly striking that incorrect views – such as thinking that nuclear offers good value for money- reflect government messaging. This shows the need for informed and accurate public debate.

“Neither MPs nor the public identified the big role that their homes and business play in UK emissions. This should worry the government when we are missing our targets for reducing demand – and we know this is undermining our ability to meet climate change targets. A national drive on energy efficiency would help raise awareness of cheap solutions that will cut bills and help save the planet.”

Earlier this month world leaders struck a deal to limit global temperatures to well below 2°C at the climate summit in Paris.