Climate change is the biggest concern for the British public

The British public worry about climate change more than Covid-19 and Brexit, according to the November 2021 Ipsos MORI Issues Index.

Four in ten of the public mentioned environmental issues as a concern, up 16% from October. This is the highest recorded score for this issue since it was first included in the index in October 1988. 

The previous high was in July 1989, when it scored 35% and also topped the list. 

Covid-19 remains the second-biggest concern, with just over a quarter mentioning it as an issue. The proportion worried about Brexit and the economy has fallen to just over two in ten, which is also the level of concern about the NHS this month. 

people in street during daytime

Concerns about the environment and climate change are equally high across a wide range of demographic groups – for instance, four in ten of both Conservative and Labour party supporters say this is a big issue. 

The biggest gradient can be seen by age. Almost half of those aged 55 say the environment is a big issue (47%), compared with just over four in ten of those aged 35-54 and a little over a quarter of those aged 18-34. 

Michael Clemence, Associate Research Director at Ipsos MORI, said: ‘Concern about the environment and climate change has reached its highest-ever score in this month’s Ipsos MORI Issues Index – likely an impact of the COP26 conference. There is also widespread agreement on this priority across different groups including across supporters of both the Labour and Conservative parties, although younger people stand out as putting COVID-19 marginally ahead.’



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