Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Climate Change

British Public Becoming More Aware Of Scientific Consensus On Climate Change

The British public is becoming more aware of the scientific consensus that exists around climate change, according to new survey results.

A new survey conducted by ComRes for the UK’s Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) concluded that the majority of British adults believe that climate change is a) happening and b) mainly caused by human activities. Furthermore, the number of British citizens who believe there is a scientific consensus surrounding climate change increased dramatically since 2014, up from only 53% to 61%. When digging deeper into this, however, only 16% of those surveyed believe that “almost all” scientists “believe that climate change is mainly the result of human activities,” while 45% believe it is “a majority.”

“Growing awareness of the scientific consensus on climate change is an important finding, because good understanding helps citizens to engage knowledgably with the democratic process,” said the Earl of Selborne, the Conservative Peer who chairs the House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology and is a member of the ECIU Advisory Board.

“But a substantial gap between perception and reality remains, which is troubling. It poses a challenge to opinion leaders, notably in politics and the media, to communicate facts clearly to the general public so they appreciate the rationale for climate change policies.”

On top of a growing belief in a scientific consensus, the British public is also more likely to desire an increase in the amount of renewable energy. When asked what options (if any) respondents wanted to see replace coal generation for electricity, 69% placed renewable energy in the top 3 options (with 42% of the total placing renewable energy first).

The ECIU conducted the survey “to detect changes in public understanding” a year after asking the same questions in its initial launch survey.

Many studies show that well over 90% of climate scientists, perhaps as many as 97%, think that the main cause of climate change is human activity. [1,2,3]

Exactly what is responsible for these increases in public awareness is unclear, however as the ECIU highlight, Robin Lustig, the journalist and broadcaster who presented BBC Radio Four’s The World Tonight for 23 years, and also a member of the ECIU Advisory Board, believes it could be the result of the media doing a better job of conveying the facts to the general public.

“It’s obvious that the media have a crucial role to play in conveying accurate information to listeners, viewers and readers, and these small but significant rises in the number of people who are accurately informed suggest that journalists and editors may now be doing a better job,” said Lustig. “But there is clearly a long way to go on both these issues, and it’s a shame that there are still too many articles and programmes suggesting that climate science is discredited or that the public hate renewable energy.”

These survey results come at a critical time in the UK’s environmental growth, following in the wake of a number of dramatic cuts to the country’s financial support mechanisms for renewable energy development. Just this week a new campaign was launched between RenewableUK and the Solar Trade Association “opposing the Government’s plans to cut financial support to small-scale renewables, including wind turbines and solar panels.” The campaign, People Power, “is calling for members of the public, as well as the thousands of renewable energy employees, to petition the Government to provide more stable support to these maturing sectors by writing to their local MP and harnessing the power of social media.”

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: How NVIDIA Is Bringing Autonomy To Automakers

Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

EV Press Releases


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Air Quality

Volkswagen is using Airlite paint that neutralizes certain pollutants in the air for its outdoor ads in the UK.


Let's explore plugin vehicle market share trends in 7 top countries with some bar charts and line graphs.


Hyundai and Kia are giving a nice boost to their EV buyers in the UK — access to a large number of charging stations...


As the electric vehicle transition speeds up, you see higher EV market share, more EV charging station deployment, and bigger EV fleet orders. In...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.