Britons ‘green on the outside’

While eco-credentials are important to 70% of all Britons, only a few are prepared to earn them by making significant lifestyle changes, a survey has found.

As many as 70% want to be seen to be green, according to the Green Barometer survey. Respondents hailed home energy efficiency as one of the most virtuous things we can do, on a par with donating to charity and surpassed only by helping an elderly neighbour.

But while many could claim small actions to curb climate change (39%), only a few (4%) had made serious changes to their lifestyles to earn their green credentials.

Flying and driving were difficult habits to change, the survey showed – while 32% of respondents said they would consider choosing a flight-free holiday only 4% had actually acted on this.

Stronger Government measures to bring about action were not popular – only 34% considered green taxes socially acceptable, and only 30% spoke in favour of road pricing.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) survey, which focused on climate change and energy issues, found that over 80% of Britons say that climate change is already affecting Britain.

EST chief executive Philip Sellwood said: “There’s lots of talk by politicians, industry and the media about environmental issues. For the first time the Green Barometer gives the public a voice in this debate. Without it, it is difficult to have informed discussion about where we go from here.

“There’s an enormous willingness to take on the environmental challenge, let’s make the most of this window of opportunity to make a real difference. There are simple actions we can all do in the home to help reduce the amount of energy we use.”

The Green Barometer is the first survey charting Britons’ attitudes to green issues, according to EST, and is to be updated quarterly.

To read the full report for April 2007, click here.

Goska Romanowicz

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