Mark Adair

E.ON study reveals millions are ‘prepared to move away’ if home towns don’t go greener

E.ON has published the findings of a major new survey exploring the attitudes and ambitions of 20,000 adults around the UK, revealing a country lacking pride in local efforts towards net zero and people wanting more of a voice in delivering the changes needed to combat the climate crisis.

The survey found only a quarter of UK adults (25 per cent) feel proud of the work that UKs communities and businesses are doing to invest in green initiatives – and fewer than one in ten (7 per cent) say they feel listened to when it comes to decision making on local green investments.

Such a feeling has driven nearly 10m [1] adults in the UK (16 per cent) to say they would be willing to move to a different area of the country if their home town or city doesn’t become greener in the next five years.

It found adults in the UK are keen to play a far greater role in creating more sustainable cities, with eight out of ten (79 per cent) saying they believe that by working together people can change the world for the better. Allied to that, three in five (59 per cent) want more of a say in how taxpayers’ money is invested in green initiatives for businesses and communities.

Much of the desire for change is driven by taking action to protect future generations, with three quarters of UK adults (76 per cent) agreeing that communities and businesses need to become greener for the benefit of their children and their children’s children.

Commenting on the findings, Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: “Conversations about lowering carbon emissions often focus on changes individual families can make, but there’s so much more we can all do to take action for climate and drive changes in public spaces, across communities and even in our workplaces.

“A bigger conversation undoubtedly leads to swifter and more impactful action and cities can help lead the charge on behalf of thousands, even millions of people.

“Too many people don’t feel listened to or say they aren’t playing a big enough part in decision making when it comes to green investments in their communities, which may be an uncomfortable truth for local leaders and businesses.

“However, the positive news is there’s immense interest and passion among people in helping to make their communities and workplaces cleaner and greener and we should all look to harness that commitment where we can.”

The data is based on a survey of 20,000 UK adults, focusing on some of Britain’s largest cities, including Birmingham, home of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow. It is hoped the report can be a springboard for discussion on public attitudes towards government and businesses in their shared mission to create cleaner, more sustainable communities.

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