In 2019 is appears that climate action is actually becoming an urgent concern in the UK and taking centre stage in the public interest. Now a new report suggests almost 70 percent of Brits want climate action to be urgently addressed by politicians. In a study by Greener UK and the Climate Coalition, two-thirds of those questioned think Britain needs to cut carbon emissions down to zero within the next few decades.
This year has seen organisations like Extinction Rebellion taking to the streets of London to protest for climate action, young people walking out of school on strikes, and the government banning certain single use plastics (effective of next year), all in the hopes of protecting the planet. And it looks as though this movement is truly being felt by the general public.
The survey was conducted by market research company Opinium and questioned 2,000 people. The results also suggested that 81% of people believe that protecting the environment is a an issue for all generations and 70% of people want their Local MP to support plans to tackle climate action. Three-quarters agreed science shows a clear need for action on climate change, and 66% think the government needs to pass a new environment bill with legally binding targets.
The Climate Coalition and GreenerUK, which consists of 130 other organisations including WWF, The National Trust, and National Union of Students, will be teaming up for a mass lobby on 26 June named The Time Is Now. Their call to action states:
The government have taken the first step by setting the long-term target of ending our contribution to climate change, but the hard work starts here by driving forward short-term action to slash our emissions now. They will also have the chance to end nature’s decline by committing to a strong Environment Bill. Now is the time to push for bold action.
It's expected 14,000 people will be making their way to Westminster to meet their local MP to discuss urgent climate action. They hope that this will be the largest mass lobby for environmental and climate action in the UK.
Earlier this month, Theresa May announced that the UK "will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050." This will mean Britain could be on its way to becoming the first G7 country to set net zero emissions in law. This is an amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008. May said, "Standing by is not an option. Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations." On top of this, young people will now have the chance to shape future climate policy via the Youth Steering Group.
This study is proof that environmental issues are no longer on the fringes and have now become mainstream concerns in Britain. The lobby later this month could draw even more attention to important and much-needed conversations around climate action.