Christian Aid poll finds climate emergency should be Boris Johnson’s top priority
Harriet SherwoodLast modified on Fri 26 Jul 2019 06.44 BST
Most Britons believe climate change is more important in the long term than Brexit and say it should be a top priority for Boris Johnson’s government, according to an opinion poll.
Women and young people are more likely to say that action over climate change is a more pressing priority than issues around Brexit.
The ComRes survey, commissioned by Christian Aid, found that 71% of the UK public agreed that climate change would be more important than the country’s departure from the EU in the long term. Six out of 10 adults said the government was not doing enough to prioritise the climate crisis.
Two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that Johnson should put the issue at the top of his agenda. In his inaugural speech as prime minister outside No 10 on Wednesday, Johnson mentioned the environment briefly. He said Britain was “leading the world in the battery technology that will help cut CO2 and tackle climate change and produce green jobs for the next generation”.
Laura Taylor, director of advocacy for Christian Aid, said: “As Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets his feet under the table at No 10, there are a large number of urgent priorities. However, it’s clear that beyond the present political turmoil, UK adults know there is a bigger crisis, which is potentially catastrophic for the whole of humanity – particularly some of the world’s poorest people, who are more vulnerable to the effects of this climate emergency.”
She said she hoped Johnson would “hear the challenge from the majority of the UK public to do more to tackle this climate emergency”.
The extreme heat in the UK this week demonstrated the urgency of action. “Extreme weather patterns … are even more exacerbated in other parts of the world, where droughts, floods and storms are wreaking havoc, costing lives and seeing millions of pounds of damage each year.”
The poll also showed that church-going Christians were more likely than the general public to say the climate emergency should be the government’s top priority, at 77% compared with 66%.
Taylor said: “It has been heartening to see church denominations and Christian groups in recent months declare a climate emergency.”