Advertisement - Content continues below
Environment

New poll shows climate change and employment top concerns for Brits

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to put the environment at the heart of the UK’s post-pandemic recovery

Climate change and employment opportunities are the most pressing concerns for the UK population, a new survey marking the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement has found. 

New polling by international relief and development agency Tearfund, conducted by Savanta ComRes, found 71 per cent of adults were concerned about the impact of global warming on the next generation.

This worry was matched only by concerns about the number of employment opportunities available following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription

Dr Ruth Valerio, director of global advocacy and influencing at Tearfund, said urgent action was needed on climate change to limit the effects of the crisis on future generations. 

Advertisement - Content continues below
Advertisement - Content continues below

Dr Valerio said: “2020 has been a year of crisis for us all, but it’s clear that though we are all in the same storm, we are in different boats. 

“The poorest communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the climate emergency. While there has been progress, climate change must remain a primary concern, both for our own children and grandchildren and the most vulnerable around the world.” 

According to the new research, women are more likely than men to see climate change as a concern, with 75 per cent listing it as a concern compared to 67 per cent of male respondents. 

Levels of climate anxiety also increased with age, with 74 per cent people aged over 55 seeing it as a concern compared with 66 per cent of those aged 18 to 34. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to “build back better” and prioritise the environment as the nation recovers from the devastating impact of Covid-19. 

The UK unemployment rate hit 4.9 per cent according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, with 1.69 million people currently out of work. 

The Government has announced plans for a ‘”Green Industrial Revolution” to get ahead on climate change and create up to 250,000 green jobs. In a piece for the Big Issue, Flint Global director Josh Buckland said this was a good start, but more would be required. 

In November 2021, the UK will host the UN global climate change conference, nicknamed COP26, which will see experts and world leaders meet in Glasgow to discuss environmental issues. 

Tearfund said this meant Britain was in an ideal place to “lead by example” and set out green recovery policies to meet the Government’s ambition to limit global heating to 1.5C. This was agreed at the landmark Paris Agreement which was signed by 197 countries in 2015. 

Valerio added: “With less than 12 months to go before the UK hosts the UN global climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, we need the UK to lead by example, setting out well-funded green recovery policies that meet these ambitions.

 “While there are good signs of progress in the fight against climate change, five years on from the Paris Agreement, many of the predictions I was reading and warning about more than 20 years ago are coming to fruition and it grieves me deeply that more people are going hungry, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, and communities are being displaced.” 

More than 2,000 Brits were also polled on issues from loneliness to mental health provision. 68 per cent of people listed the nations mental health as a concern, 62 per cent were worried about personal debt, while 57 per cent said they thought house prices would have an impact on the next generation. 

Have you been affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic? The Big Issue is committed to supporting its readers and find ways to help people stay in their jobs and in their homes through our Ride Out Recession Alliance. Send your stories and ideas to rora@bigissue.com to help us support those who need it most.

Advertisement - Content continues below

Support The Big Issue and our vendors this Christmas

Every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing 'a hand up not a hand out.' You’re helping Big Issue vendors achieve their #BigWish

Recommended for you

Read All
Big Issue Invest joins multi-million pound partnership to support green jobs
Environment

Big Issue Invest joins multi-million pound partnership to support green jobs

The government must stop ignoring advice to reduce flying, warn climate experts
Climate crisis

The government must stop ignoring advice to reduce flying, warn climate experts

Charities label post-Brexit scheme for sustainable farming a 'huge disappointment'
Nature

Charities label post-Brexit scheme for sustainable farming a 'huge disappointment'

Here’s how you can waste less food and help save the planet
Food waste

Here’s how you can waste less food and help save the planet

Most Popular

Read All
Simon Le Bon: 'I’m very lucky. Solo artists have nobody to tell them they’re being an arsehole'
1.

Simon Le Bon: 'I’m very lucky. Solo artists have nobody to tell them they’re being an arsehole'

The six best things that happened at Stormzy’s Christmas party for the kids of Croydon
2.

The six best things that happened at Stormzy’s Christmas party for the kids of Croydon

The innovative 'nap pads' that could save the lives of homeless people
3.

The innovative 'nap pads' that could save the lives of homeless people

Michael Sheen: 'I’ve essentially turned myself into a social enterprise, a not-for-profit actor'
4.

Michael Sheen: 'I’ve essentially turned myself into a social enterprise, a not-for-profit actor'

With temperatures dropping and fewer shoppers on the high street, our vendors need you now more than ever. Buy, subscribe or donate.