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Public opinion on climate change shifting

Tuesday 30th July 2019 | Jake

A new poll conducted by BritainThinks on behalf of the Engage Britain think tank has found protecting the environment has become a priority policy for the public. The poll lists the environment as the fourth most urgent policy concern among the public. Healthcare is the top priority policy concern found in the poll, with poverty and education trailing in second and third respectively.

BritainThinks conducted two polls to identify the trend. The first was an online survey of 5,032 people in October 2018, then another poll of 2,009 people was taken in June 2019. Each poll shared the same core questions. The polls asked participants to rank core challenges facing the UK. The poll suggested Britain may not be as divided as it seems. Concern about the climate crisis has rose at a similar level across all age groups, while leave and remain voters both identified health and poverty as among the top three policy priorities for government.

Julian McCrae, the managing director of Engage Britain, was optimistic the poll showed an underlying national unity among the general population, arguing “there is much common ground from which to pave a way forward.”

Meanwhile, a ComRes survey commissioned by Christian Aid found 71% of the UK population believe tackling the climate crisis to be more important than Brexit in the long term. The survey also found six out of 10 adults believe the government isn’t doing enough to prioritise the climate crisis.

With every new setback in the fight to save the planet, it may appear a losing battle. With all the hate aimed at protest groups such as Extinction Rebellion and much of the mainstream media in denial, it could be presumed public support would be dwindling. These polls show otherwise. The public realises that climate change is drastically affecting our planet, and now they want government policy to tackle the climate crisis.

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