UK public get environmental science wrong

A new ComRes survey reveals vital misconceptions on energy and climate change.

It shows that only 11 percent of people are aware of the strength of the scientific consensus on man-made climate change. More than 90% of climate scientists agree that the main cause of climate change is human activity.

However 47 percent of people think either that most climate scientists reject the idea that human activities such as fossil fuel burning are the main driver of climate change (11 percent), or that scientists are evenly split on the issue (35 percent).
Another major misunderstanding relates to the British public’s preferences for different forms of energy. Only one in twenty (5 percent) of Britons know that renewables such as solar and wind are supported by a significant majority (about 80 percent) of the UK population. Two-thirds (63 percent) estimate support at under 50 percent.

Other findings from the ECIU/ComRes survey include:

* Half of the population say the winter floods strengthened their belief that the climate is changing and a quarter (27 percent) say the floods also strengthened their belief in human activity as the main cause.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has been set up to support informed debate and evidence gathering.

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