New research shows the majority of the UK is open to net zero changes

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17th April 2024 15:33 - Utilities

New research shows the majority of the UK is open to net zero changes: Findings taken from a recent ICE and APPGI policy paper has revealed that most of the UK public is amenable to the behavioural changes needed to achieve the country’s net zero targets, with 57% of respondents open to change.

The policy paper was published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure (APPGI). The paper included polling and focus group research carried out by Thinks Insight and Strategy on behalf of ICE. One thousand members of the UK public took part in the research carried out for the policy paper.

Making up the 57% that are open to change their behaviour is ‘net zero enthusiasts’ (23%) and people ‘seeking empowerment’ (34%). Enthusiasts are people who want to make changes and feel like they can make them, whilst people seeking empowerment want to make changes, but doubt whether they actually can.

Further findings from the report found that 30% of people were ‘reluctant followers’, acknowledging that the UK needs to act on emissions but not feeling personally responsible for the action needed. Additionally, 13% of those surveyed were classified as ‘net zero resistors’, people who believe no action is necessary from them or anyone else.

Additionally, Thinks’ research revealed that younger respondents (18-30-year-olds and 31-50-year-olds) are more likely to believe changes will affect them positively, rather than negatively, compared to older people. The research also found that 58% of the respondents were unsure of the perceived practicality of personal behaviour change in the short-term.

Conservative MP and the chair of the APPGI, Andrew Jones, said this: “Net zero is a positive to embrace, rather than a problem to solve, to make this critical and necessary transition, we must engage the support of the public and provide the support needed to help them make the best choices. While there are significant challenges to overcome, there are also many opportunities.” 

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