The green revolution rolls on regardless
In 2019, ‘climate emergency’ was the strongest of the 36 values we identified worldwide and our new data suggests that, if anything, the pandemic has strengthened concerns.
While the increase in the proportion of Britons who agree that we ‘are headed towards environmental disaster if we don’t change our habits quickly’ between 2019 and 2020 is reasonably small (five percentage points), this is the tip of an attitudinal iceberg: agreement has risen by 24 percentage points since 2013. Over those seven years our environmental values have moved from being closer to the more sceptical Americans and we are now in line with the more alarmed European mainstream.
Although this finding jars with other data, such as the rapid recovery in private road traffic compared with use of public transport, it confirms that environmentalism is now baked in to the public consciousness and will likely be an important attitudinal factor shaping our recovery over the next few years. Of course, there remains a major ‘say-do gap’ and the public are expecting business and government to help with heavy lifting, but the latent permission to act is there.