Public sceptical 2050 net zero target will be met: The UK public are sceptical net zero will be achieved by 2050.

A new report from think tank Bright Blue suggests, 58% of the public which took part in the survey of 3,002 UK adults about the 2050 goal believed it is unlikely that the target will be achieved by the deadline.

Who does the public think are primarily responsible for ensuring the goal can be reached? National governments get a high degree of responsibility from 82% of the public, while the same proportion say businesses must be held to account.

74% think members of the public themselves have a vital role to play and 78% say local governments have a high degree of responsibility.

The majority disagree with 10% of people still thinking individuals will not have to make any changes themselves – 63% expect they will need to recycle more, while 53% think they will have to install better home insulation.

Eating less meat is the least supported behaviour change at 34%, around 52% say it will be necessary to reduce air travel, the same number that believes buying and driving an electric car would help.

A range of government policies for achieving net zero get a high level of support – 66% of those questioned say firms that work for government must also assess and report on their carbon footprint, the government should provide tax breaks for businesses 59% say, which have cut emissions and 52% say leaders should introduce a carbon tax.

Taxing investment in fossil fuels, just over more han half say would be an effective method of driving change, with 50% backing the establishment of a new emissions trading scheme for businesses and 49% supporting smart meter installation in all homes and businesses.

Senior Researcher at Bright Blue, Anvar Sarygulov said: “The changes that need to be made by individuals, businesses and government to help achieve net zero are demanding and disruptive. The public recognises that the government, businesses and individuals themselves have a lot to contribute to help Britain achieve its climate change goals, and are receptive to a variety of policies and behavioural changes to help make it happen. However, if it means increased prices on home electricity and heating, the public are opposed to action.

“Ambitious, sometimes radical, action will be needed across economic sectors. The public will need to accept, and adapt to, significant changes in the goods and services they consume. Many are still unaware of and unprepared for the changes required, especially in the way they heat their homes, to ensure we can reach net zero by 2050. Government and businesses must do more to inform and prepare the public for the changes that need to happen, or they risk the public turning against necessary decarbonisation.”

Public sceptical 2050 net zero target will be met

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