Public embarrassed by politicians that renege on climate pledges

Polling by FocalData for ECIU shows the public are supportive of the net zero target.

By Tricia Curmi

Last updated:

Overall, over two thirds (70%) of respondents said that they support the UK’s target of becoming net zero by 2050, compared to 18% of respondents that oppose the target. The support is also strong among Conservative voters with 73% supportive versus 19% opposed.

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The public are also, on balance, proud to support a political party that puts forward policies associated with achieving net zero. Around two-thirds of people would be proud of a party which wanted to generate more electricity from renewable sources (65%) versus 7% that would be embarrassed, and nearly half would be proud of a party that would lift the effective ban on onshore wind (47% proud vs 11% embarrassed).

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On the other hand, around half of people would be embarrassed by a party which reduced the number of homes being insulated (49% vs 13% supportive) and looked to ban solar panels in fields (44% vs 14%).

Overall as a salience issue, climate change and the environment remain a top four issue (31%) for people surveyed, behind the economcy, health and immigration. But other polls, such as the YouGov tracker, have shown a jump of 10% to 33% rating it as a top issue, and third place in the list of people’s concerns.

Previous polling for ECIU by YouGov showed MPs were out of touch with their constituents on support for onshore wind with almost half (47%) thinking their constituents would oppose new onshore wind despite 71% of the public saying they would support it.

Polling conducted by Focaldata. Sample size of 2010 adults in Great Britain between 28th-31st July 2023