Press release

Climate change more important than Brexit in the long-term, Brits say

Most UK adults care more about climate change in the long-term than Brexit and believe it should be a top priority for the new prime minister, a new poll has found.

Around 71% of people agree that climate change will be more important than the UK’s departure from the European Union in the long-term, while the majority (61%) do not believe the Government is doing enough to prioritise climate change.

Even people in some higher Brexit voting parts of the UK such as Wales (78%) and the East Midlands (74%) are slightly more likely than the total (71%) to say that climate change is a more important issue than Brexit in the long-term.

The ComRes survey commissioned by Christian Aid also found that two thirds (66%) of UK adults agree that climate change should be a top priority for the next Prime Minister.

Women were significantly more likely to say this – 71% compared to 62% of men.

Laura Taylor, director of advocacy for Christian Aid, said: ‘As Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets his feet under the table at Number 10, there are a large number of urgent priorities. However, it’s clear that beyond the present political turmoil, UK adults know there is a bigger crisis which is potentially catastrophic for the whole of humanity – particularly some of the world’s poorest people, who are more vulnerable to the effects of this climate emergency.

‘I hope the Prime Minister will hear the challenge from the majority of the UK public to do more to tackle this climate emergency. We need a rapid and radical shift to reduce emissions in the UK and we need global action for climate justice in which the most vulnerable communities are supported to not only survive but to thrive.

‘As we have seen this week, the UK is increasingly subject to extreme weather patterns. These patterns are even more exacerbated in other parts of the world, where droughts, floods and storms are wreaking havoc, costing lives and seeing millions of pounds of damage each year.

‘The pervasive impact of climate change on everyone – and particularly those in the communities in which Christian Aid works – means we cannot ignore it. The UK public is waking up to the devastating effects of the climate emergency – it’s time the UK Government did so too.’

ComRes interviewed 2,072 UK adults online between 19 and 21 July 2019. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults by age, gender, region and social grade.