People are changing the way they think about climate change and the environment.

Perhaps a David Attenborough documentary caught their attention, they’re worried by the increase in extreme weather, or their child took part in a climate protest. Whatever the reason, it is clear the British public recognises that climate change is real, and we need to do something about it.

Through our Future Energy Scenarios we know that both energy system transformation and consumer transformation is pivotal to reach the UK’s ambition for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is why we polled over 4000 members of the public and held 12 focus groups to better understand the British public’s view on the UK’s climate agenda and how they can get involved in the energy transition.

Key messages

Rising concern about climate change

71% of the public say it is one of the most pressing issues of our time or the single most important issue. It now ranks alongside recovering from Covid, the quality of the NHS and the state of the economy as the most important issues facing the country.

Low awareness and understanding of net zero

Despite rising levels of education about climate change, only 40% of the population think they have definitely heard of the legal requirement to meet net zero by 2050, although 73% support or strongly support Government’s net zero plan, once explained.

UK progress not clear to the public

While UK greenhouse gas emissions have roughly halved in the past 30 years, 71% of the British public think that emissions have increased.

Differentiation is key

We need to better understand the barriers and motivators for different members of the public in order to enable and empower actions that can support the UK’s climate change targets, including the adoption of green home technologies and services.

Sequencing is important

How and when we engage the public on climate change and the energy transition matters. To help practitioners visualise a way of engaging with different consumer segments we have produced an ‘Engagement Roadmap’.

Report in brief

Download the summary report for Empowering climate action.

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Empowering climate action report

Download the full report for Empowering climate action: inspiring and supporting consumer participation in the energy transition .

View report

Consumer research data tables

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Consumer segment data tables

Learn more about our polling insights, broken down by consumer segments.

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Demographic data tables

Discover our polling insights, broken down by demographics.