It argues that while international agreements are important, ordinary people – who will be the ones expected to make changes to reduce their personal carbon footprints – are somewhat ignored by the global conference.
COP28 began on Friday in Dubai, with the UAE one of the richest nations in the world primarily due to its oil reserves.
On 1 December, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke at the conference and acknowledged that ordinary citizens need real guidance and financial help to tackle climate change.
And while he announced £1.6 billion of funding for global climate projects and argued that world leaders must tackle climate change with solutions that do not affect people’s finances, he stopped short of offering any real plan or actions to support them in the issues which matter to consumers or the British public – such as reducing emissions from their homes.
Lack of financial help is a key reason why individuals in the UK are not implementing climate mitigating measures. New data from The Green Gap shows that 44% think installing measures such as a heat pump is too expensive, while over half of the public would take action to reduce their carbon footprint but not if it was to cost them money.
The new data, published by Tandem, has also shown that the Government’s current messaging is having a negative impact on the public, with concern about climate change falling by -8% amongst UK residents, who are also experiencing continued cost-of-living pressures.
Speaking on the findings, Alex Mollart, Tandem Bank CEO, said:
“Tandem agrees that people must be brought along on the journey to net zero, and COP is a great platform for the UK to lead the world in the debate. But we need the rhetoric to translate into on-the-ground plans for the British public. Plans to support greener lifestyles and homes; plans which provide consumers and business with clarity and confidence, not just hot air.
“Price and other priorities remain the biggest barriers to them taking action – which is hardly surprising given cost of living pressures and the Prime Minister’s recent scaling back of commitments.
“Climate change is the biggest challenge we face today. UK consumers have good intentions to make substantial changes to their lives, but our recent study shows a significant hurdle in that journey, with actions not keeping up with levels of intention.”
In September, the Prime Minister pushed back commitments already in place, including on the ban on new diesel and petrol cars to 2035, gas and oil boilers, and scrapping the requirement for landlords to have a minimum energy efficiency rating of C and above.
Want to know more? Read The Green Gap here or Download the full report