January 24, 2022

Climate Change News

Saving The Planet

An “overwhelming” support for strong climate action, shows a UK study Climate crisis

The British public supports a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher flight rates and subsidies for heat pumps to deal with the climate crisis, according to the largest analysis of political preferences ever 22,000 people chose their preferred policy…

The British public supports a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher flight rates and subsidies for heat pumps to deal with the climate crisis, according to the largest analysis of political preferences ever published.

Nearly 22,000 people chose their preferred policy mix to meet the government’s 2030 emissions reduction target. A 60 mph speed limit on highways and a campaign to reduce meat consumption by 10% were also one of the most popular measures, all with public support of between 77% and 94%.

The public went beyond the government and opted to exceed the current carbon target by 3%. The researchers found that age, location, and political leanings did not make much of a difference in policy decisions, with an “overwhelming consensus” for strong and fair climate action.

The most popular set of policies meant that people earning less than £ 22,000 would be better off by £ 44 a year, thanks to the redistribution of carbon tax to the less affluent and savings on heating bills and car. Those with incomes between £ 35,000 and £ 53,000 would pay £ 195 more a year to fund the policies. It was also estimated that the policy set would support one million jobs by 2030.

The researchers said the public wanted the government to lead the transition to a zero economy, rather than leave it to fiscal measures and the market.

“The British public has chosen the future they want – one with green jobs, clean air and thriving nature – and that doesn’t touch the worst of their pockets,” said Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF, who produced the report with Thinktank demos. “This is within our reach, but only if the UK government listens and sets out a clear plan and strategy to get there.”

The government has said it will publish its net zero strategy before hosting the crucial Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow from 1 November. The strategy will set out how the UK will meet its ambitious carbon targets and is seen as a key test of the country’s credibility on the climate.

The most popular policy mix selected by the public was:

  • A £ 75 per tonne carbon tax on polluting manufacturing and construction companies, with funding to invest in new technologies, with the support of 94% of the people.

  • Public transport better integrated and coordinated by local government (93%).

  • Food campaigns and government support, supermarkets and food companies that promote vegetable diets and reduce the consumption of meat and dairy products by 10% (93%).

  • A complete electric vehicle charging network across the UK by 2028 (91%).

  • Increase in flight costs, especially for frequent travelers (89%).

  • Some restrictions on vehicles entering the city center and a speed limit of 60 mph on highways (82%).

  • Support for less intensive agriculture and paying farmers to improve nature, including forests (79%).

  • Aid for heat pumps and domestic insulation for low-income families and low-interest loans for others, reaching 1.4 million heat pump installations in 2030 (77%) .

“There is an overwhelming consensus of support behind it [these] solutions, “said Polly Mackenzie, CEO of Demos.” The UK government needs to listen to the public and urgently establish a strategy that provides a greener, stronger and better future for all. “

The new analysis, titled The Climate Consensus, used a market research firm to provide a nationally representative sample of 22,000 people, including participants from all parliamentary constituencies. Participants used a climate calculator to choose the policies they preferred to achieve the government’s 2030 goal of reducing emissions by 39% over 2019.

“The package that emerged is therefore more than just a list of popular policies: it is a measured set of elections, commitments and investments that citizens are willing to make to tackle climate change,” he said. report.

The range of policies offered by the calculator was extracted from the work of the government’s official climate change advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), while emission reductions were calculated using a government tool. The analysis was funded by the National Grid and ScottishPower.

The UK has reduced its emissions by almost half since 1990, largely eliminating coal and installing renewable energy to generate electricity. However, future cuts will affect people much more directly, including cars and home heating systems.

Alok Sharma, the president of Cop26, and Kwasi Kwarteng, the secretary of business and energy, wrote in 2020: “It is important that we involve the public and take it with us, so that the decisions we make are aligned with the concerns and the values ​​of society. ”

Last week, Chris Stark, chief executive of the CCC, said a UK-wide public information campaign on climate change and the zero network could be usefully deployed, as is already underway in Scotland.

“It simply came to our notice then. [But] many of the changes are deeply positive, not only because of the climate, but also because of things like health, air quality and our overall experience. ”

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