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Almost 2/3 of the UK are willing to donate a percentage of their salary to fight climate change

25 September 2020

New research from Nexans sheds light on the UK’s attitude towards the climate crisis.

According to research carried out by Nexans, one of the global leaders in advanced cable technologies, as part of the company’s commitment to climate change, nearly a third (29 percent) of the UK’s consumers believe that combatting climate change has become more of a priority in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Those aged between 16 and 24 are most concerned, with over a third (35.1 percent) seeing the fight against climate change as more important since the pandemic began. 

Londoners are more likely to consider climate change an increased priority (35.2 percent) since the start of the pandemic compared to Northerners (27.6 percent). One-third (33.8 percent) of families with children under the age of five see climate change as more of a priority.

When it comes to taking action, nearly two-thirds (65.8 percent) of UK respondents said they would be willing to donate part of their salary to fight climate change. Over half (56.5 percent) of workers are prepared to donate up to five percent of their income, while among 16 to 24-year olds, 79 percent are prepared to donate as much as 10 percent of their income. Londoners are the most generous with 73.3 percent prepared to donate part of their salary, while Northerners are the least open to the idea (62.3 percent).

Christopher Guérin, CEO of Nexans says: “Through the organisation of this Climate Day, Nexans is asserting itself not only as an actor but also a thought leader of the energy transition for a sustainable electrification of the world. This electrification raises a number of challenges and paradoxes that must be overcome. And it will only happen with the direct involvement of the populations concerned. These surveys provide a better understanding of the level of information and disinformation in public opinion as well as their level of acceptability of these lifestyle changes.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic, nearly a third of the UK population (33.5 percent) has taken up walking to be more environmentally friendly, while 13 percent of Londoners have taken up cycling. Of families with children under five, 11.6 percent report reconsidering taking long-haul flights to protect the environment. 

Over two-thirds (67 percent) of the UK support the use of electric vehicles, with 59.9 percent saying that they intend to replace their car with an electric vehicle in the future. Those aged between 25 and 34 are most likely (74.7 percent) to do so, along with Londoners (70.4 percent).

In terms of government support, over half of the UK (60.5 percent) is satisfied with the UK government’s response to tackling climate change, with those aged between 25 and 34 the happiest (66.6 percent). A significant 84.2 percent agree that the UK’s post-pandemic economic stimulus package should be climate friendly, suggesting that they see the coronavirus recovery period as an opportunity to make long-needed changes. 

Over three-quarters (81.2 percent) are in favour of installing wind turbines on land as part of the country’s shift to renewable energy sources. Similarly, 84.1 percent are in favour of creating new wind turbines off the UK coast, and 84.9 percent support the creation of new solar panel fields in the UK respectively. 

Research conducted by Nexans in the US indicated that the US population was just as committed to tackling climate change as those in the UK with two-thirds of US workers prepared to donate part of their salary to tackle climate change. What’s more, 31 percent of US consumers believe that climate change has become more of a priority since the start of the pandemic while 83 to 90 percent are in favour of wind turbines on land and offshore, as well as solar farms, to combat climate change.


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