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Poll shows climate change will be key factor in general election

Words: Huw Morris

Most people’s votes in the general election will be influenced by climate change, according to an opinion poll for an environmental law charity.

In the survey, for environmental lawyers ClientEarth, 54 per cent of respondents said climate change would affect how they vote.

Nearly two-thirds – 63 per cent – said politicians are not talking enough about climate change, while 70 per cent think the climate emergency demands more urgent action.

Pollster Opinium surveyed more than 2,000 people, and found that 58 per cent think the UK government has not properly prepared for climate change. It also reveals widespread support for policies championed by opposition parties.

Sixty-one per cent want the government to bring forward the 2050 deadline for reducing UK emissions to net zero; the same number want more policies to encourage a shift to electric and other low-emission vehicles, while 63 per cent want a ‘Green New Deal’ or ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ with large-scale, long-term investment in green jobs and infrastructure.

A total of 64 per cent want policies to plant more trees or reforest land.

People also want more action from local government. Councils’ top priorities should be planting more trees – 81 per cent – set carbon-reduction targets and make sure planning decisions support them – 72 per cent – while 69 per cent want them to enforce energy-efficiency standards for rental homes.

Sixty-nine per cent want local government to invest more in footpaths and bike lanes while 66 per cent want to see public transport improvements prioritised over building new roads.
Image credit | iStock