Three-quarters of the British public believe that climate change is the most serious issue of our time, according to a report published by the Swedish power company Vattenfall.
For the report, which is titled: ‘The conversation on climate change, and its impact on human behaviour,’ a survey was carried out on a nationally representative sample of 7,220 adults in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.
Three-quarters of respondents in the UK revealed they are worried about climate change, with 39% admitting they feel a sense of anxiety over the issue.
61% of the people involved in the survey identified large businesses as having the biggest role to tackle climate change by implementing changes across their operations.
A further 42% of people also agreed that the government has a strong role in establishing climate-friendly policies, and 32% agreed that energy companies have the strongest ability to slow climate change.
Only 25% of respondents saw individual action as the most important method to slow climate change.
The authors of the report went on to analyse the barriers that are stopping people from making individual changes in their lives, there are practical barriers such as the availability and cost of climate-friendly options, but also the media and social media that individuals are exposed to can act as a barrier preventing action.
The majority (61%) of media coverage on climate change is negative.
According to the researchers, this negative reporting induces a feeling of individual powerlessness to stop the problem, whereas coverage that highlights positive examples of progress on fighting climate change, has the opposite effect.
Magnus Hall, president and CEO of Vattenfall said: ‘It is clear that our emotions towards climate change have passed a tipping point in society.
‘As a company that produces and supplies energy, our ability to make an impact is considerable and this report highlights that.
‘We are fully committed, throughout our entire 20,000-person business, to make fossil-free living possible within one generation and to help partners and industries to electrify transports and processes and thereby replace fossil fuel.’
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