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Cost of Living

Tracker data: Majority of public think climate inaction will cost too much

10 November 2023

Despite having concerns about the costs of climate change, and the cost of living, people in the UK have a clear understanding of the trade-offs necessary for climate action. Despite minor shifts, a majority still feel that it will cost too much *not* to tackle climate change now. A smaller percentage (23% in our most recent wave)  say that “it will cost too much to tackle climate change now”.

The latest from the Cost of Living timeline:

Opinion Insight 21st February 2024

Survey: Three quarters of the public are worried about the impact of climate change on their bills

In a survey of 2000 people carried out by Opinium, on behalf of Positive Money, 75% of UK adults were concerned about the impact of climate change on the cost of heating or cooling their home, while 69% were worried about the impact of grocery prices, 54% on the price of housing or rent, 74% on electricity costs, 68% on the cost of water and 59% on transport costs.

These concerns about ‘climateflation’ show that the perceived impacts of climate change are not confined to changes in the weather (although these are becoming more noticeable to people too).

Climate Barometer data backs this up – concern about the impact of climate change on household bills was the third most common choice behind ‘harm to nature and wildlife’ and ‘suffering and hardship for the world’s poorest’.

Separate analysis investigating the cost of ‘not zero‘ (i.e. not pursuing net zero goals fast enough) by the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) supports people’s concerns: households really are facing higher bills because of a lack of action on climate change. Their calculations reveal that cumulative savings of £70bn on the UK’s energy bill could have been made had investments happened over past decade.

The Positive Money report emphasises that these climate-linked costs are disproportionately felt by lower income households.

Climate Barometer Tracker 9th November 2023

Tracker data: Who is to blame for the high cost of energy bills?

The public primarily blame the Russia-Ukraine war,  the UK government, and energy companies for high energy bills, with slight changes since Autumn 2022. More of the public blame energy companies in 2023 compared to 2022, and a steady decline in blame attributed to the Russia-Ukraine war.

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