Thursday, December 1, 2022

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“Green Gap” as consumers want climate action – but don’t pay for it

Almost two-thirds of UK consumers say they are willing to reduce their carbon footprint – but not if it means paying their own money.

New research shows that older age groups are particularly reluctant to invest their own money in saving the planet, with 70 percent of 55-64 year olds saying they would not spend their own money on individual improvements like solar panels or electric vehicles (EVs), compared to 63 percent of all age groups and 57 percent of younger people aged 18 to 24.

The poll, conducted by green digital bank Tandem, shows Brits are concerned about the rapidly changing climate but reluctant to reach for improvement amid a cost of living crisis.

This gap between attitudes and reality is captured in a new quarterly index from the bank called The Green Gap.

Worryingly, half of all people (50 percent) believe they are already doing enough to reduce their environmental impact, showing a wide gap between the change needed to reach net zero and current behaviors .

Men are more likely to feel they are doing enough (54 percent) than women (47 percent). Additionally, women (72 percent) seem more likely than men (68 percent) to believe that climate change is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed. Women are also much more likely to want to know more about what they should be doing.

Alex Mollart, Managing Director of Tandem, said: “Our new research confirms that people are concerned about the future of our planet but have less understanding of what specific actions are being taken – and how those are changing over time.

“It’s clear that the financial pressures that everyone faces every day is a real barrier to behavior change for many people.”

Key findings from the first publication of The Green Gap show that 70 per cent of Brits think climate change should be treated as an urgent issue and a similar number believe that financial incentives would encourage the implementation of green policies

However, this means that almost a third are not convinced or unsure whether urgent action is needed. In particular, those living in rural areas (64 percent) are less likely to think climate change should be urgently addressed than those living in urban areas (74 percent) – with similar responses to the question of whether climate change is a problem .

Half of consumers (49 percent) don’t know their home’s EPC rating and 58 percent don’t have smart meters.

Field research was conducted online by Survation between 30 September and 3 October with a sample of 2,080 UK adults (aged 18+). The data are weighted according to the profile of UK adults and the population by age, sex and region, with appropriate targets derived from Office for National Statistics data.

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