Public needs more advice on ‘climate solutions’

More awareness campaigns are needed to help make the public more aware of what they can do to help prevent climate change. Picture: TSPL

More awareness campaigns are needed to help make the public more aware of what they can do to help prevent climate change. Picture: TSPL

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PUBLIC SUPPORT for measures to cut carbon would increase if people heard more about the solutions to climate change, a poll suggests.

But the majority of those questioned fear people are less likely to take action to tackle climate change because they are unsure of what difference they are making, the survey for climate campaign group 10:10 found.

More than two-thirds (68%) thought people would be more inclined to back measures to reduce emissions if they heard more about solutions, higher than the 62% who thought more information on climate change impacts would boost support for action.

However 70% said that most of the information they received on climate change focused on the impacts it could have.

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The ComRes poll also found that two fifths (41%) thought hearing more about solutions to global warming would spur them to cut their own carbon footprint.

The survey comes as 10:10 unveils its annual online gallery showcasing practical action to tackle climate change, including a state-of-the-art low carbon lifeboat station in Cornwall and an Aberdeenshire hair salon using 87% less energy after an eco-overhaul.

More than seven out of 10 (71%) of those quizzed thought people were less likely to take steps to cut carbon because they were unsure of the difference their actions would make.

The poll of 2,031 British adults also found that 58% thought people were less likely to try to tackle climate change because they felt the problem was too big.

And 62% thought people would be more likely to support and take action to cut emissions if they knew more about what other people were doing.

10:10’s #itshappening gallery curator Mal Chadwick said: “Everyone needs to understand what’s at stake if we don’t step up our carbon cuts, but by itself this won’t lead them to act.

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“This survey shows that allowing the facts to create concern about the impacts of climate change without giving people an understanding of the role they can play in tackling it, and showing that the solutions are out there, risks people turning off.

“It’s vital that we promote a sense of possibility about climate change action as well as an understanding of the risks.”

And he warned: “Right now, the biggest threat to progress isn’t climate scepticism. It’s cynicism - resigning ourselves to climate change because we don’t think we’re up to the task of fixing it.

“This is a time for new ideas, taking risks and thinking big, and #itshappening offers real-life examples of people, communities, governments and businesses doing just that.”

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