UK public are the most climate-conscious in Europe

A Ford-commissioned study looking at public attitudes towards electric vehicles and the climate crisis has revealed the personal sacrifices Britons are willing to make in the fight against anthropogenic global warming.

Climate Countdown
, the latest in Ford’s quarterly Go Electric reports, finds an overwhelming majority of the UK (91 per cent) feel they have a personal level of responsibility in the fight against climate change. Asked about issues facing the United Kingdom today having a global plan to tackle climate change (34 per cent) was viewed as the third most pressing issue facing the country; only getting out of the pandemic (42 per cent) and ensuring economic recovery post-COVID (38 per cent) were deemed more important. Furthermore, while agreeing a global climate change plan was a key priority, over a quarter (27 per cent) also said putting in stricter measures to curb climate change was needed immediately.

Ford’s research suggests a surprising level of willingness from UK public to forgo many of the trappings of modern life. Among the key things that Brits would be willing to sacrifice are not using non-recyclable plastics (45 per cent); limiting purchase of new clothes (44 per cent); reducing energy consumption (44 per cent); using their car less (34 per cent); and not travelling abroad on aeroplanes (30 per cent).

There was also clear indication that consumers expect businesses to be environmentally friendly: 85 per cent said it was important that they buy products from businesses that have a positive or carbon-neutral contribution to the environment.

Ford also surveyed seven other European markets (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Norway and the Netherlands). Cross-comparison suggests that the UK public are among the most climate-conscious in Europe: more Britons (34 per cent) think agreeing a climate change plan is a priority than in Italy (31 per cent), Germany (31 per cent), Norway (29 per cent), Netherlands (28 per cent), Poland (26 per cent), France (25 per cent) and Spain (23 per cent).

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