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COP: Public willing to make ‘tough decisions’ to tackle climate change

Published: Tuesday 10 October 2021

New research by Midlands Connect, released on the eve of COP26 climate summit, shows that people in the Midlands are ready to make ‘big’ changes to their lives to tackle climate change.

The research, with 5,000 people across the Midlands shows that 86% of people are willing to make big changes to their lifestyle to tackle climate change.

Nearly three quarters of people (72%) think that climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity today, this figure was highest in Hereford, at 82%, while 69% of people don’t think we’re doing enough to tackle the problem.

When questioned about what changes they would be willing to make to reduce emissions, over half of people (54%) said they would forgo next day delivery so that my online shopping orders can be consolidated and delivered in a more environmentally friendly way. Nearly half of people would forgo a holiday (45%), four in ten people (41%) would make more journeys via public transport where possible, even if the journey takes longer or requires me to use multiple modes of transport, and a quarter of people would join a car sharing scheme (24%).

Residents in Worcester (63%) and Lincoln (62%) were most likely to report that they would give up next day shopping deliveries, nearly half of people in Wolverhampton would give up their holiday (48%) and around half of people (48%) in Hereford would be happy to use more public transport even if it meant it took longer to get to their destination.

This openness to change was mirrored by motorists, with 77% of car owners saying they would consider buying an electric vehicle next. Nearly 4 in ten (39%) of people think electric vehicles and petrol and diesel cars should cost the same by the end of 2025 and over a quarter (28%) thought they should cost the same by next year. People in Worcester topped the poll (43%) for calling for urgent action asking for Electric Vehicles to be as cheap at petrol cars by next year.           

Nearly eight in ten (79%) of people said they would take fewer trips by car to help play their part to tackle climate change. However, 85% would still invest in road improvements to unlock jobs and housing in their area.

Commenting, Maria Machancoses Chief Executive of Midlands Connect said:

“As we prepare to host the UN's annual climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, it’s essential that we redouble our efforts to decarbonise the transport network. We know the industry has been slower to reduce its emissions than some others, but I am confident we now have the technology, expertise and willing to make change happen.”

“This research shows that people want to tackle climate change, and the majority believe it is the most critical issue facing us today. However, while it’s encouraging that most people say they are prepared to make big and tough decisions, impacting on their daily lives, to meet that challenge, we need to bring in the policies and infrastructure needed to turn these good intentions into action.

“Whether it be switching to an electric vehicle, consolidating online shopping deliveries or using public transport more often, the actions of individuals will make a big difference as we strive to meet our net-zero targets.”