Press release

Public want urgent global action to tackle climate change

73% of people want world leaders to agree a global deal and 66% think action must happen now, according to a new Populus survey.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Survey results infographic

73% of people want world leaders to agree a global deal and 66% think action must happen now, according to a new Populus survey (PDF, 166KB, 29 pages). The survey reveals an appetite for action on climate change by the UK public, with only 20% agreeing that it can wait a few years. But the survey also showed that just 40% of people recognise the potential impact of climate change on their lifestyle.

So, as the recent IPCC Synthesis report shows, the science is clear, but how will climate change impact what we do day-to-day, from a morning cup of coffee to the car we drive and the home we live in?

To demonstrate the scale of the expected impacts – and the action that can be taken to tackle climate change – DECC is teaming up with a huge range of organisations and individuals, such as the UN, Microsoft and the Natural History Museum to bring the issue to life.

Across a range of themes, including food, health, business and sports, experts will answer questions on Twitter about the impact of climate change and the actions that can be taken.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “The science is clear. Climate change poses great risks to health, global food security and economic development – and unchecked will change every part of our lives. Without urgent action nowhere on earth will be left untouched.

“We are at a global turning point – never before have so many countries made clear their determination to act to tackle climate change. Those governments are backed by a groundswell of people who want to see action in their own countries and around the world.

“That’s why we’re holding this 10-hour global event with partners from the worlds of business, sport, national security, the environment and beyond – so people can get on Twitter and ask questions, to find out more about how climate change is already changing the way we live, and what we can do about it. From 9am until 7pm (GMT) on 25 November you will be able to get on Twitter and ask your burning questions as well finding out what these leaders in the field are thinking and doing on climate change.

Of the survey and her involvement in the Twitter event, Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said:

“This shows people want and expect a global deal and that they want it soon.

“In creating this global twitter relay we will help people to understand the possible impacts of climate change on day to day life as well demonstrate the level of government commitment for action. “

Get involved using the hashtag #BackClimateAction and follow @DECCgovuk.

The tweetathon will be broken down into hourly slots, one after another, and each themed around a different subject such as health, cities and sport. There will be a different expert for each session who will respond to your questions – submitted via Twitter – about how climate change will impact the featured subject matter or the action that can be taken.

Survey results

  • 73% think world leaders must urgently agree a global deal
  • 20% think taking action can wait a few years
  • 72% are aware of the benefits of tackling climate change
  • 40% think that climate change will negatively impact me and my lifestyle
  • 33% think taking action on climate change will negatively impact economic growth

NOTE: Populus poll with 2000 people – field work: 5-6 November 2014

Published 24 November 2014