“UK support for net zero remains strong, but don’t go to fast”

25th Nov 2022


Polling for leading UK energy trade body, Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has revealed that public support for net zero has remained solid over the past 18 months, despite rocketing energy bills and the cost of living crisis.

When asked ‘how important is tackling climate change to you personally?’ 82 per cent of the 2000 respondents said it was ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ important to them. This is the identical to the response to the same question posed by the trade body in June 2021, before the energy price hikes hit home.

Support was more mixed for the speed of the UK getting to net zero and was against paying reparations to other countries for the UK’s part in the industrial revolution. When asked if the UK should be the first country to achieve net zero, only 31 per cent said yes, compared to 64 per cent who supported achieving net zero at the same pace as other countries.

By 59 per cent to 32 per cent, those polled were rejected the idea of “reparations to compensate other countries” for the impact of the UK leading the industrial revolution in the 18th Century.

Commenting on these findings, Mike Foster, CEO of Energy and Utilities Alliance said:

“The British public have shown their remarkable character by continuing to support the aim of net zero, despite the massive financial pressures they are under personally. It is a telling trait that they instinctively know how important it is reduce carbon emissions.”

“Believing in ‘fair play’ is also a recognised characteristic of us Brits. That comes across in the belief, by a majority of two to one, that we should aim for net zero at the same pace as other countries across the globe. While these findings reaffirm our support for net zero, it is not a blank cheque for acting in haste or at any cost. Policymakers need to be mindful of this. So no-regret options such as hydrogen-ready boilers replacing fossil gas boilers, at no additional cost to the consumer, is an obvious way forward.”

“And there is a warning for those politicians who have tried to catch the headlines recently by supporting reparations to other countries because of the UK’s role in the industrial revolution based around the burning of coal. The public aren’t convinced. Pushing this idea, in the middle of the cost of living crisis, is a reckless approach, risking political support for net zero. Listening to the people might be a good start in keeping them on side as we work towards net zero by 2050.”