A survey conducted by the UN, with 1.2 million participants across 50 countries, has found that the majority of people think climate change is a global emergency. The proportion of people in the UK who agree with this statement is 81% – the joint highest of any country.
Action on climate change was also polled. The most popular measures were reforestation, renewable energy, and sustainable farming practices. A policy of promoting plant-based diets only received 30% support.
Governments often consult public opinion before implementing policies. This poll shows a clear mandate for action on climate change; policymakers can take decisions to tackle the climate crisis in the knowledge that their people are with them.
Will this signal a shift in government policy towards the climate crisis? Perhaps they will act with more urgency or feel emboldened to design radical responses. Or might action on climate change be lost in the immediate demands of building back from the coronavirus pandemic, despite public support for it?