Northern surveys show high levels of concern about climate change
Public concerns about climate change appears to be on the rise, according to a survey on climate solutions carried out by the University of York (YESI and SEI) and universities across the north of England during Green Great Britain Week.
Green Great Britain Week is a national event designed to raise awareness about climate change and the ways we tackle it. To find out how people in the north feel, surveys were conducted for a public engagement session called “Climate Chats” by volunteers from York (Stockholm Environment Institute and York Environmental Sustainability Institute), Universities of Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester (Tyndall Centre) and analysed by the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds. Art, music, poetry and museum artefacts were used by the researchers to attract attention and start conversations with the public, including a performance at Leeds Station.
The surveys took place on Monday 15 October, the first day of Green Great Britain Week and seven days after the publication of the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. The report made headlines around the world, with the urgency and scale of emissions reductions needed to stay under a temperature rise of 1.5°C coming through strongly.
Just over half (50.6%) of those surveyed said they were “very concerned” about climate change while a further 39% were “fairly concerned.” Only 10% were not very concerned or not at all concerned. A substantial majority (82%) said they had personally noticed signs of climate change. Despite these findings, only 35% were prepared to fly less, although 70% would use public transport more and 66% would shop locally.