New research from BT has found that, despite citing climate change as a major social problem, nearly half of the UK’s population do not feel they have the capacity to actively tackle it.
The research, conducted by BT and creative business and youth specialists Livity, shows that climate change is the third most important problem for people, after mental and physical health.
Despite this, nearly half of those surveyed believed they were incapable of tackling climate change individually, and as a result, a fifth confessed that they had not engaged with the problem at all.
In a poll of more than 2,000 adults – among the general and diverse population aged 18-70+ in England, Scotland and Wales – 20 percent admitted they are not engaged with the climate change agenda, despite 32 percent being more concerned about the state of the environment than about violent crime.
Nearly a fifth of those surveyed stated that feeling “alone” to make a difference was one of the top reasons they hadn’t tried to tackle the problem of climate change.Others noted the lack of a collective movement to help them power the cause.
As a result, one in four adults wants better support from existing authorities to guide their involvement in the climate change movement. More than a third also want companies and manufacturers to make their sustainable products more affordable to drive greater adoption.
Ways some individuals are already trying to change include reducing waste (54 percent); more local shopping (33 percent) and raising awareness about climate change issues (14 percent). Gabrielle Ginér, head of environmental sustainability at BT, said:
“Climate change is an issue that affects us all and at BT we want more people to feel united in action. Where we live, our ethnicity and our socioeconomic status all play a key role in determining our connection to climate change.
“No person or organization can tackle climate change alone, so we want people to feel inspired to make a contribution, no matter how big or small. It’s the combination of everyone working together that will make a difference.” Alan Bryant, strategy partner at Livity said:
“For those who feel they can have an impact, climate change is seen as something everyone can play a part in. They believe in the cumulative impact of each individual’s actions.
“However, for those who don’t believe they can bring about change, the opposite is true – they feel instead that the climate emergency is a bigger problem than the individual, a bigger problem than they can solve alone.
Many believe it should be the responsibility of government and industry to make changes, but the truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle:
individuals and large groups both work together.” The research is part of BT’s broader sustainability strategy to encourage more individuals and companies to actively tackle climate change.
With a customer base of 30 million households, BT considers itself well placed to help households reduce their carbon footprint and has recently partnered with environmental organization Hubbub to conduct a three-month ‘Smarter Living Challenge’, looking at the ways technology can help reduce the household size. emissions.
The company believes its technology and networks will provide the foundation for many of the innovative solutions needed to achieve a carbon-neutral economy, supporting everything from working from home to developing smart cities and enabling the internet of things.
As part of its plans to become a net-zero emissions company by 2045, BT now uses 100 percent renewable electricity worldwide. Consumers buying mobile or broadband from EE, BT or Plusnet are already powered by networks powered by 100 percent clean power.
The company has also outlined plans to electrify up to 28,000 of its 33,000 vehicles by 2030.
Ahead of crucial climate talks this year, such as the G7 meetings and the COP26 summit scheduled for November in Glasgow, BT is calling on other companies to get involved by setting their own ambitious net-zero targets and working with their customers, colleagues and suppliers about climate change and the difference they can make.
Yesterday, the UK government announced that it would task the new Green Technical Advisory Group with developing a guide to clarifying what qualifies as sustainable investment and what does not, in an effort to tackle corporate greenwashing.