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Climate policy or economic recovery? Polling shows people want both, and favour investment in green industries

  • 28 Mar 2013, 08:00
  • Ros Donald and Christian Hunt

Image: Phil Hollman

When asked whether the government should invest money in climate change or economic growth, the largest group of respondents said they would prefer that it treated both as a priority, according to new polling.  

Polling by Opinium for Carbon Brief suggests that the majority of people believe it is possible for the government to promote economic growth and tackle climate change at the same time. 41 per cent of those asked believed there was no contradiction between the two.  

That's compared to 19 per cent who believe the government should invest money into preventing climate change, even if this means a slower economic recovery. However 31 per cent said the government should be doing everything it can to promote economic growth, even if it means tackling climate change is a lower priority. 

Economic -growth -vs -climate -action
Question: Which of the following statements regarding climate change do you agree with most?

Green growth

The polling also asked people where the government should be investing to promote economic growth, to test how they felt about so-called green industries - like building wind turbines and installing energy efficiency measures.  

57 per cent said the government should invest more in green industries. This compares with 30 per cent who said these industries aren't sufficiently developed to warrant government investment, and the government should focus on non-green industries.  

Green -industry -vs -nongreen
Question: Thinking about 'green' industries, (such as the building of wind turbines or the installation of loft insulation), and the current level of investment the UK government is committing, which of the following statements do you agree with most?

It's clear that political outlook makes a difference to how people answer this question. 45 per cent of Conservative voters said they want to see more investment in green industries, compared to 63 per cent of Labour and 68 per cent of Lib Dem voters.

Carbon Brief polling

Carbon Brief conducted a poll of over 2,000 people, asking questions about their attitudes to climate change and energy policy. We have released the full results today -  you can download our climate polling results here [PDF] or  here [Excel] and the energy findings here [PDF] or here [Excel]. The questions are here [PDF].

Here are the tables this blog post is based on:

 

Economicrecovery

Greenindustries

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