Climate change more important than Brexit, say majority of Brits

Around 61% of people believe the government isn’t doing enough to prioritise climate change

Festival Net Zero 2021

A majority of Brits believe climate change is more important than Brexit in the long term and say it should be a top priority for new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to a new poll, around 71% of people said they care more about climate change than the UK’s departure from the EU, while 61% believe the government isn’t doing enough to prioritise it.

The ComRes survey, commissioned by Christian Aid, also found two thirds (66%) of the 2,062 adults questioned agree climate change should be at the top of the agenda for Mr Johnson’s government.

It reveals young people aged 18 to 34 were significantly more likely (60%) to say they care more about climate change than Brexit, compared to over-55s (43%).

Laura Taylor, Director of Advocacy for Christian Aid said: “As Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets his feet under the table at Number 10, there is a large number of urgent priorities.

“However, it’s clear that beyond the present political turmoil, UK adults know there is a bigger crisis which is potentially catastrophic for the whole of humanity – particularly, some of the world’s poorest people, who are more vulnerable to the effects of this climate emergency.

“I hope the prime minister will hear the challenge from the majority of the UK public to do more to tackle this climate emergency. We need a rapid and radical shift to reduce emissions in the UK and we need global action for climate justice in which the most vulnerable communities are supported to not only survive but to thrive.”

She adds the extreme heat seen this week in the UK demonstrates the urgency of action.

Ms Taylor said: “These patterns are even more exacerbated in other parts of the world, where droughts, floods and storms are wreaking havoc, costing lives and seeing millions of pounds of damage each year.

“The pervasive impact of climate change on everyone – and particularly those in the communities in which Christian Aid works – means we cannot ignore it. The UK public is waking up to the devastating effects of the climate emergency – it’s time the UK Government did so too.”

Former Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has been appointed as President of COP26, the next UN climate summit and former Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom is back to the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as Secretary of State.

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