Wednesday 7 December 2016

Less than half of population believes climate change is a serious problem

Published 05/12/2015 | 02:30

Less than half the population believes climate change is a serious problem which needs to be addressed
Less than half the population believes climate change is a serious problem which needs to be addressed

Less than half the population believes climate change is a serious problem which needs to be addressed, a new survey reveals.

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A Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) poll of more than 1,000 people suggests that State agencies and Government have a job to convince people about the seriousness of rising global temperatures.

It shows that just 49pc believe climate change is a serious problem, while 53pc of respondents believe they have a role to play in addressing impacts.

It also finds that the general public significantly underestimates the contribution of the residential sector to energy-related emissions, and overestimates the contribution of industry.

Dr Eimear Cotter, Head of Low Carbon Technologies at SEAI, said that while the scientific analysis was "indisputable" and the need for urgent action "clear", there was a need for increased awareness.

"What this research suggests is that we still have to convince half of the population of the seriousness of climate change," she said.

"Increased awareness will mean we can have an informed debate about our options and choices that we need to make if we are to take fossil fuels and carbon out of our energy system."

The survey also says that 70pc take energy consumption into account when buying a house or car, while six out of 10 factor power use when buying kitchen appliances and lighting.

The SEAI added that people have a good understanding of where we currently get our energy from, which is predominantly fossil fuels, and they anticipate a massive swing towards renewables in the future, mainly wind, hydro and solar energies.

Irish Independent

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