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A nationwide survey commissioned by the WWF and UK NGO, the Energy Saving Trust, revealed that 83% of more than 1,000 adults interviewed nationwide now reject the belief that global warming is good for the UK. Eighty percent of interviewees in the Gallup poll also believed that freak weather events like storms and floods are caused by climate change, the WWF announced on 13 November. Interviews for the survey were conducted before the worst of this year’s floods in early November.

The organisation also said that beliefs depended on the respondent’s sex, with women being more concerned than men – some 40% feared risks from freak weather and flooding to their own home and 79% were worried about the UK in general.

However, most Britons have not yet taken the next step of taking energy-saving action in their own home to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the organisations say. The vast majority have failed to make the most energy efficient changes they can, like installing a condensing boiler or buying an energy efficient appliance.

Even more worrying for the groups is that most people who think they are doing their bit to help the environment are probably mistaken, with nearly 50% of respondents claiming to have bought an A-rated energy efficient fridge or washing machine, but sales figures showing that only 1.4% of the population own them. In addition, 19% claimed to have installed a condensing boiler, but less than 5% have one, and whilst 28% of interviewees believed that they were buying energy from a renewable source, less than 1% actually are.

“We’re at last waking up to the threat of climate change, but we’ve got a long way to go when people are so confused about what energy efficiency means in their homes,” commented Dr Ute Collier, Head of Climate Change at WWF.

“We can’t just leave it to the politicians or industry,” said Dr Eoin Lees, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust. “One quarter of the UK’s overall carbon dioxide emissions come from our homes – we’re all contributing to the problem of climate change and the increased risk of flooding.”

The Energy Saving Trust, which was set up by the Government and major energy companies, recently launched an ‘Energy Efficiency Recommended’ logo, which now appears on items in electrical stores across the UK (see related story). Callers to the Energy Efficiency hotline on 0345 277200 can be sent a free home energy check action pack that helps them identify energy and money saving measures in their own home.

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