POLITICS
19/06/2019 00:35 BST | Updated 19/06/2019 14:42 BST

Climate Change: 70% Of Brits Back Urgent Action To Protect Environment, Poll Shows

MPs face growing pressure to act on climate issues as 14,000 people plan mass lobby of parliament.

Seven out of 10 people want urgent political action to tackle climate change and protect the environment, a poll suggests ahead of a mass lobby of parliament.

More than 14,000 people from across the UK have signed up to come to Westminster to meet their local MP and demand urgent action to tackle climate change and safeguard the natural world.

Some 69% of more than 2,000 people polled by Opinium for organisers of the lobby, the Climate Coalition and Greener UK, want to see urgent political action on these issues.

Three quarters of those questioned in the survey are concerned about climate change, and 71% want their MP to back ambitious plans to protect nature and curb rising temperatures.

The issues have risen up the agenda, amid increasing scientific warnings about climate change and species going extinct, the poll suggests.

Some 58% said they talk more about climate and the environment than they did five years ago, and more than three quarters (77%) agreed the issues are more mainstream than ever before.

The government has proposed legislation to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, a move which is supported by two thirds of the people quizzed for the poll.

Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at the Climate Coalition, said: “The government’s decision to set a net zero target in law was clearly a response to calls for action from voters which have grown louder and louder in recent months.

“Now we need our politicians to put policies in place to deliver on that target, as well as measures to clean up the air we breathe and the plastic in our seas.

“The findings in this poll make clear the scale of support for action in the form of statistics.

“The people travelling to Westminster to speak to MPs next week will show what that support looks like in person.”

Rosie Harden-Vane, a member of Seaton Valley Women’s Institute who will take part in the lobby, said it was a “big leap” for her to take part in “The Time is Now” event.

“However, if I can’t make my voice heard, I would be turning my back on the most important issue of our time,” she said.

“If we don’t change the way we are treating our planet with immediate effect, in my lifetime - I’m 66 - the decline will be irreversible.

“Species lost forever, homes and land lost to rising sea levels, plastic and chemicals poisoning the land, the water, plants and animals - including ourselves.”

Lib Dem MP Sir Ed Davey, a former climate change minister, said he would support the campaign, adding: “Whilst the UK government’s announcement on net zero UK is a welcome milestone, the time is now to rid the UK of its most embarrassing climate policies: we need to stop subsidising fossil fuels, bring back zero carbon homes, ban fracking, bring back the Green Investment Bank and onshore wind, and tackle the finance sector which is responsible for financing businesses which emit 15 times more carbon than the whole UK.”