Accessibility statement

Public perceptions of the health impacts of climate change and priorities for action

Why we did this study
Climate change is placing people’s health at increasing risk. Urgent action is required by national and local government to address these risks and secure a healthy future for the UK population. In democratic societies, such action needs to be aligned with public concerns and priorities. However, little is known about these concerns and priorities. Our study begins to fill this gap.

What we did
We conducted UK-wider quantitative surveys of adults aged 18 and over, and a qualitative study of those aged 16 and over living in England.

The project timeline (April 2020-March 2022) meant that the sequencing of the quantitative surveys could take account of potential impacts on public perceptions on health and climate change of the COVID-19 epidemic and the associated restrictions on everyday life as well as the UK’s hosting of the global forum on climate change, COP26. The 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Project details and results are available here


Funder: NIHR Public Health Policy Research Unit
Start Date: April 2020
End Date: March 2022


Internal Staff:

External Partners:

Project Advisory Group:

  • Jennifer Bostock (Public Health Policy Research Unit co-lead for public involvement)
  • Dr Jacqui Cotton (National Community Resilience Manager, Environment Agency)
  • Dr Emer O’Connell (Consultant in Public Health, UKHSA)
  • Lottie Oram (Lead Analyst Health Disparities, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC))
  • Joel Moffat (Lead Analyst Public Health Systems and Strategy (DHSC))
  • Adele Rae (General Manager, Kirkstall Valley Development Trust)
  • Dr Harriet Smith (Social Researcher, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
  • Matt Bain (Social Researcher, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
  • Dr Rupert Suckling (Director of Public Health, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council)
  • Dr Dagmar Zeuner (Director of Public Health, London Borough of Merton)


Public Health and Society Research in the Department of Health Sciences