How far people are willing to take personal action to prevent climate change is one of the big policy questions. When considering a major global issue like climate change, many people will consider that they cannot have an impact, and that they should leave it to the government, if indeed they think it’s worth tackling at all.
A new poll by ComRes tackles this question. Having been commissioned by Centrica, its focus is on domestic energy usage, and it suggests a tension between what people are doing now and what they might be willing to do in the future.
According to the poll, three quarters of UK adults have recently tried to reduce the amount of gas and electricity they use. The reasons given for these reductions are interesting:
That price should be top isn’t surprising, but I’m struck that nearly twice as many say they reduced their energy use to help the environment as say they did so to protect the UK’s energy supply.
This surprised me a little because polling I’ve seen in the past has shown that, as reasons for energy conservation, energy security is generally more compelling than climate change.
And we do in fact see something similar in a later question in this poll.
When we move away from what people are doing, and onto what they want the government to do, we get a different picture: