United Kingdom

In Wave 1 of a tracking study in 2012, 15% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 38% registered human activity-only responses. In Wave 21, 5 years later, 10% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 42% registered human-activity only responses.

In March 2012, the UK Governments’ Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), launched the ‘Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker’ survey. A new ‘wave’ of this survey is completed four times every year. In ‘Wave 22’ – June to July 2017 – face-to-face home interviews were conducted in 2097 households across the UK. This sample was chosen using the Kantar TNS Omnibusa, which utilizes the ‘random location quota sampling method’.

Regarding attitudes to climate change, the first question asked in each survey ‘wave’ is: ‘How concerned, if at all, are you about current climate change?’. The possible answers are ‘Very’, ‘Fairly’, Not Very’ and ‘Not at All’ Concerned, as well as ‘Don’t Know’. In Wave 2, 65% registered ‘concerned’ responses, whilst 35% registered ‘unconcerned’ responses. In Wave 21, 71% registered ‘concerned’ responses, whilst 27% registered ‘unconcerned’ responses. This represents a flip, over 5 years, of +6% of the public being concerned, and -8% of the public being unconcerned.

The second question asked on climate change is: ‘Thinking about the causes of climate change, which, if any, of the following best describes your opinion?’ The possible answers include climate change being, ‘Entirely’ or ‘Mainly’ caused by natural processes, ‘Entirely’ or ‘Mainly’ caused by human activity, ‘Partly Caused by Both’, ‘I don’t think there is such a thing as climate change’, or ‘Don’t Know’. In Wave 1, 15% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 38% registered human activity-only responses. In Wave 21, 10% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 42% registered human-activity only responses. This shows a flip of -5% of the public considering that climate change is only the result of a natural process, and +4% of the public thinking that it is only the result of human activity. However, from Wave 1 to Wave 21 there was only a +1% change in responses that state climate change is partly the result of both (42% to 43%).

Learn More

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-and-climate-change-public-attitudes-tracker-wave-22