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Climate Impacts

Tracker data: Gender divide in MPs’ beliefs about cost of climate impacts

26 April 2023

Our Climate Barometer Twin Tracker data suggests a gender divide in MP’s opinions about the costs of climate impacts.

When asked about the cost of tackling climate change, the majority of female MPs agreed “It will cost too much not to tackle climate change now and we should be prioritising it while we can still avoid the worst impacts”.

Less than half of male MPs chose this option in both years they were asked, with notably more male than female MPs saying “It will cost too much to tackle climate change now and we should be prioritising other things at a time when consumers can least afford it”.

These results mirror wider trends in public surveys, which tend to show women hold heightened risk perceptions on a range of issues relative to men’s reduced concerns about different threats.

The latest from the Climate Impacts timeline:

From the Climate Community 28th November 2023

National Trust report: A Resilience Bill could put adaptation on the same footing as mitigation

The National Trust – with a huge portfolio of land and historic properties that faces a wide range of risks from a changing climate – has released a report which includes a call for a new Climate Resilience Bill, putting adaptation on the same footing as mitigation (which they argue has a ‘unifying focus’ on net zero).

Research shows that people beyond specialist circles do not make a clear distinction between mitigation and adaptation, and see worsening climate impacts as one of the most motivating reasons for decarbonising faster. When asked directly whether the UK government should prioritise adaptation or mitigation, the most popular answer (around half of the survey respondents) in a 2020 poll was that both should be of equal focus.

  • Author: National Trust
  • Date: 7th November 2023
Climate Barometer Tracker 19th October 2023

Tracker data: What climate impacts are the public concerned about?

In terms of the impacts of extreme weather and climate change-related effects, the public is primarily concerned about: harm towards nature and wildlife, suffering and hardship for the world’s poorest, that their bills and costs may rise, and that some food will become unavailable.

The public tend to see less connection between extreme weather and climate change and the effect on their physical and mental health, or ability to spend time outdoors or travel. Only 12% said they were worried climate change and extreme weather would lead to damage to their home.

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