Environment key issue for voters, survey shows
- Published on Friday, 28 March 2014 11:40
- Written by Daniel Mason
Almost half of UK voters would consider switching their political allegiance on the basis of a party's environmental policies, an opinion poll has found.
The survey, commissioned by WWF, revealed that 47% of the 2,000 people questioned said green issues were important enough to potentially change how they intend to vote at next year's general election.
Recent weather events such as severe flooding the parts of south west England had brought climate change and the environment back to the centre of the political stage, WWF said.
Its research showed that 88% think the government needs to do more to protect against flooding and other extreme weather, while 73% feel the main party leaders do not pay enough attention to environmental issues.
The poll suggested that the public believes there is a link between dramatic weather conditions and climate change, with 72% saying this winter's storms are evidence of a wider trend and 64% agreeing that they are now more concerned about the impacts of climate change than they were previously.
It comes ahead of the WWF's Earth Hour on March 29, an annual event launched in 2007 during which the campaign group encourages people across the world to turn off lights in a gesture of solidarity against the environmental threats faced by the planet.
Colin Butfield, director of campaigns and public engagement at WWF-UK, said: "The findings of this survey echo what we've found with Earth Hour - namely that millions of people in the UK want to protect our planet, are willing to take action in their own lives and expect action, not just words, from their political leaders."
Among the survey's other findings were that nine out of 10 people believe everyone has a role to play in protecting the environment, and 83% think we are using more natural resources than the planet can replenish.
Meanwhile 72% of people want politicians to put more emphasis on green energy and CO2 reduction to combat climate change, and seven out of 10 see climate change as one of the biggest issues facing the planet.