Frequent flyers must curb emissions, say public

| 18th September 2019
Photo: Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com.
Photo: Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com.
A poll for the new Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) found people increasingly concerned about carbon from flights.

Most people feel climate change is an urgent issue, and are willing to make significant changes to their own lifestyles to help tackle it. 

Two thirds of people believe in the need to curb air travel to tackle climate change, a survey suggests.

More than a third (37 percent) of those quizzed are very or extremely worried about climate change, up from just a fifth (20 percent) three years ago, the poll for the new Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) found.

Almost half of more than 2,000 adults questioned by YouGov for the centre, which is led by scientists from Cardiff University, felt they had become much or slightly more worried about climate change than they were 12 months ago.

Cut down

When asked why their views had changed, people cited reasons including extreme weather events, greater media coverage and a sense of a lack of political and society-wide action to tackle climate change.

Two thirds (67 percent) agreed that people should definitely or probably limit the amount of flying they do, while just 15 percent thought such a move was not needed.

Just over half thought people should cut down on the amount of meat in their diets to address climate change. A total of 37 percent thought it was not necessary.

Footprint

The £5 million centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is a collaboration between Cardiff, Manchester, York and East Anglia Universities, and the charity Climate Outreach.

It will explore ways people can act to directly cut their own carbon emissions and influence other people and policies, focusing on food and diet, transport and mobility, consumption of goods and heating and cooling.

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations said: "Our new survey findings make clear that most people feel climate change is an urgent issue, and are willing to make significant changes to their own lifestyles to help tackle it."

She said changing travel and food habits were among the most significant things individuals could do to reduce their carbon footprint, and said "it's very encouraging that there's support amongst the public for making these changes".

This Author

Emily Beament is the PA environment correspondent.

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