COP24 - Climate change ‘now one of society’s greatest challenges’
“People believe there is a role for everyone in tackling climate change; whether that is all of us in our everyday lives, how businesses manufacture and distribute goods or with cities and national governments taking the lead across communities.There are many ways we can make those changes and where E.ON is helping its customers to do so: from switching away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with low carbon electric alternatives, offering clean energy tariffs, or improving the energy efficiency of homes so they are more comfortable as well as easier to heat.”
Climate change and pollution are two of the biggest challenges facing society today, say a quarter of UK residents (27% and 25% respectively), with those issues surpassed only by poverty (35%) in the findings of a pan-European survey1 carried out by E.ON.
More than half (54%) of Britons believe we, as a nation, are not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle our impact on the planet, compared to two thirds (65%) of people across seven European nations taking part in the E.ON survey.
The fresh research polled more than 7,000 people across the UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hungary ahead of the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, beginning next week. It found:
- Half of Brits (49%) and four in ten (40%) Europeans believe it is everyone’s responsibility – including government, industry and consumers - to tackle the challenge of climate change and pollution.
- Providing a difference between different age groups, around two-thirds (61%) of 18-30 year olds believe we aren’t doing enough to tackle greenhouse gases, compared to less than half (48%) of those aged 51 and over.
- Around a quarter (27% UK, 28% Europe) believe it’s the responsibility of industry while a further 24% (both and UK and Europe) say it is primarily the role of the state.
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, three-quarters (77%, 80% in Europe) believe we should support cleaner energy, a third (32%) supported increased taxes or levies on the most carbon heavy fossil fuels and 23% feeling we should do both.
When it comes to making changes to reduce their own impact on the planet, more than two thirds (67%) of UK residents (71% across Europe) have already started taking action, changing or committing to change their behaviour to act in a more environmentally friendly way.
And among consumers, more than two thirds (70% UK, 80% in Europe) said they would be willing to pay more if the manufacturer of a product was making sustained efforts to act in a climate-friendly way. Alternately, almost a third of people (30%) said this would not affect their behaviour.
Commenting on the survey findings, Michael Lewis, E.ON UK CEO, said: “Climate change is not just a problem affecting distant countries; problems like pollution affect us in our cities and streets and through the air we breathe, which is why we all need to commit to make changes to tread more lightly on the planet.
“What is interesting in these statistics is that people believe there is a role for everyone in tackling climate change; whether that is all of us in our everyday lives, how businesses manufacture and distribute goods or with cities and national governments taking the lead across communities.
“There are many ways we can make those changes and where E.ON is helping its customers to do so: from switching away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with low carbon electric alternatives, offering clean energy tariffs, or improving the energy efficiency of homes so they are more comfortable as well as easier to heat.”
1 Survey of 7,000 adults across UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary. Research conducted by research institute puls on behalf of E.ON
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