Europeans want climate action but show little appetite for radical lifestyle change – new polling

  Extinction Rebellion London  Credit: Alexander Savin

Europeans want urgent action on climate change but remain committed meat-eaters and question policy proposals such as banning the sale of new petrol vehicles after 2030, according to a new poll from the YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research that surveyed environmental attitudes in seven European countries, including the UK.

The results – part of a collaboration with Cambridge Zero, the University’s climate initiative – also found that as the UK prepares to host crucial climate talks in Glasgow next month, barely a third of British adults have noticed that the event is taking place.

According to polling conducted last week, just 31% of British adults have read or heard much about COP26 so far, compared with 63% answering to the contrary – either “not very much” or “nothing at all”. These numbers have also barely changed in two months.

When the same question was asked as part of the main, international fieldwork in August, results showed a slightly larger difference of 28% versus 67%. Predictably, the other populations showed even less impact, such as 17% versus 75% in France, 9% versus 84% in Sweden and 7% versus 83% in Germany.

However, the poll indicates that while survey participants may not be following COP26, a significant majority of the 9,000 people polled across the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Italy strongly support many of the aims of the talks, at least in principle.

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Image: Extinction Rebellion London

Credit: Alexander Savin

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge



The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

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