Climate change and pollution are the second-biggest concerns for Britons, according to an Ipsos MORI poll published Friday.
Worries over the environment jumped 16 percentage points since July, with 32 percent of the poll’s respondents expressing concern over the issue. That’s second only to the coronavirus pandemic.
The level of concern is the highest since 1989, when 35 percent of respondents listed the state of the environment as a source of worry. At that time Britain was experiencing a historic heat wave, with Heathrow recording its highest temperatures since 1976.
According to the poll, those older than 55 are more concerned with the environment than younger respondents; likewise, upper and middle class people are more worried than manual and working class respondents. However, the results showed no significant political split, with Conservative and Labour party members expressing nearly equal levels of concern.
Mike Clemence, a researcher at Ipsos MORI, said that the “historically high level” of concern coincided with the publication of the latest report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warned of the catastrophic consequences of global warming. Around the time the poll was conducted, devastating fires and floods were taking place around the world.
The poll was based on interviews with 1,013 adults between August 6 and 13.
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