9-in-10 Britons now see climate change as national threat

UK public’s experience of harm from severe weather has doubled following recent extreme conditions.

In the wake of record-breaking heatwaves, during which temperatures topped 40C in some parts of Britain, and subsequent violent thunderstorms, a new survey has found a substantial increase in how the public views the threat posed by climate change and severe weather. 


Nine in 10 respondents reported viewing climate change as a threat to the UK, while double the number of people feel they have been impacted by extreme weather compared with three years ago, with the figure jumping from 10 to 20%.

However, the percentage of people worried about weather causing them harm has actually slightly dropped, from 53 to 49%. The findings came from a second edition of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll, conducted by Gallup, which took in the opinions of more than 125,000 people from 121 countries. 

‘While awareness in the UK of the threat posed by climate change is towards the top end of the scale globally, the proportion of people worried about it as the number one threat to their own safety is low compared to those countries, such as in South-east Asia, already on the frontlines of more frequent and violent severe weather events,’ said Dr Sarah Chambers, Director of Evidence and Insight at Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

‘Policymakers need to respond with strategies to keep people safe, not only by tackling climate change itself, but also by improving the resilience of countries and vulnerable populations to its effects. The World Risk Poll give them the intelligence to do so – particularly with our next findings on disaster resilience due to be published this September,’ she continued. 

Earlier this month, the Ipsos Political Monitor also found that the UK public was overwhelmingly concerned with climate change, and the majority were in favour of accelerating net zero efforts. 

Image credit: Marcus Woodbridge



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