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    Climate Citizens report: Sustaining the political mandate for climate action


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    Policy Insight 7th September 2023

    Climate Citizens report: Sustaining the political mandate for climate action

    Based on a set of interviews with 15 MPs, and a focus group with civil society representatives, new research – based on the findings of a collaboration between the Climate Citizens research group at Lancaster University, The Climate Coalition and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, and supported by Green Alliance – shows how the climate opinions of MPs have changed since 2018 when a previous round of research was carried out. The report states that:

    MPs are now much more concerned about climate; for them, it’s become a mainstream issue, but they have specific concerns that were not so evident before, particularly around how to manage the complex process of change.

    All the MPs interviewed stressed the importance of protecting people from potential negative impacts, such as higher costs or job losses in high carbon industries. They also fear a political backlash if climate action is seen as unfair.

    The report shows how the political agenda has shifted over five years, from the need to ‘do something’ to the pace of change.

    The mainstreaming of climate change in the political discourse over the past five years is important to recognise. But significant challenges remain in closing the gap between the political and the social mandate, with Climate Barometer tracker data showing that MPs continue to underestimate the salience of the environment among voters, to misjudge support for onshore wind, and to underestimate support for Net Zero (which outweighs opposition across society).

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