According to a survey, nearly six in 10 people think the government is doing too little to tackle climate change.
The survey – for the Cafod aid agency ahead of the international climate talks, Cop27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – also found that nearly half of the respondents did not think the government was committed to its climate goals.
And more than a third thought the UK was not doing enough to support poorer countries in tackling climate change, an issue that will be a key point on COP27’s agenda.
The government has legal targets to reduce emissions to zero overall – known as net zero – by 2050 to end the UK’s contribution to global warming and hosted last year’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
But ahead of this year’s talks, it was targeted for actions including the offer of 100 new licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea, although experts warn there can be no new exploration of fossil fuels if the world wants to curb the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The YouGov survey of 3,305 people found that environment and climate change were at the root of the crisis in the cost of living, economy and health for things that people thought the government should have given top priority.
But a majority of people (58%) thought the government had done too little to tackle climate change over the past year, compared to only 8% who thought ministers had done too much and 15% who claimed they had made the right amount.
About 40% of respondents who voted Conservative in 2019 thought the government had done too little over the past year and climate change overall, compared to 14% who thought it had done too much.
When asked about the government’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050 and reducing dependence on fossil fuels, overall 47% of people said the government was not committed to the goal, while 19% thought it was.
The poll also revealed that 37% thought the UK was doing too little to support poorer countries in tackling climate change, while 19% thought Britain was doing the right amount and only 14% thought that he was doing too much.
Graham Gordon, Cafod’s head of public policy, said: “The reality of the climate crisis is already here. In the UK, our summer saw 40 ° C heat and even now in winter we have had temperatures reaching 20 ° C. “
But he warned that the consequences of climate change in other parts of the world have been “deadly”.
He said: “There is a devastating drought in East Africa that leaves millions of people on the brink of famine and deadly floods in Pakistan that have destroyed communities and killed many lives.
“It has become painfully clear that the government’s gut reaction to pursue more fossil fuels will not only cause more devastation, it is also against the wishes of the public.”