Nearly two thirds of people in the UK say they would try and reduce their carbon footprint, but not if it means spending their own money on it.
New research shows that older age groups are particularly resistant to investing their own cash in helping to save the planet, with 70% of those aged 55-64 saying they wouldn’t spend their own money for individual improvements like solar panels or electric vehicles (compared to 63% of all people).
Younger people (aged 18-24) are slightly more open to the idea, with only 57% saying they wouldn’t consider investing their money in lifestyle changes that would reduce their environmental impact.
Worryingly, half of all people (50%) believe they are already doing enough to reduce their environmental impact, showing a major gap between the scale of challenge to achieve Net Zero and people’s attitudes.
Men are more likely to feel they are doing enough (54%), compared to women (47%) – in addition, women (72%) appear more likely than men (68%) to feel climate change is an urgent issue to be tackled. Women are also much more likely to want to learn more about what they should be doing – 67% women, compared to 58% men.
The survey, conducted by leading greener digital bank Tandem, shows that across all age groups, roughly three-quarters of people are worried about the rapidly changing climate.
This disparity – between the intentions of the British public and their actions in reality – is set out and will be fully explored with brand new data and analysis, in a new quarterly index, The Green Gap, which will be published by Tandem Bank.
In today’s cost of living crisis, it isn’t surprising that individuals are reluctant to splash out on solar panels or an electric vehicle, but it’s not all doom and gloom.
Key findings from the first publication of The Green Gap show that a significant number of people in the UK are ready for action:
· 70% of Brits agree that climate change should be treated as an urgent problem to be solved
· 68% think financial assistance and incentives would be effective in increasing up take of green measures
· Two thirds(63%) wish to learn more about how they can reduce their impact
· 60% believe readily available information will also support up take
But the scale of the challenges is also apparent:
· Almost one third remain unconvinced or unsure of the need for urgent action to tackle climate change
· Those living in rural areas (64%) in particular are less likely to think climate change should be addressed urgently compared to those living in urban areas (74%) – with similar responses when asked whether climate changeis an issue of concern
· Half of people (49%) do not know their home’s EPC rating
· 58% do not have smart meters, nor do almost half (48%) have low energy lighting
Having previously conducted research on consumer attitudes to fighting climate change, Tandem is now looking to explore, and clearly understand, the gap between these attitudes and the reasons why consumers aren’t doing more – it calls this the ‘Green Gap’.
Commenting on the report, Tandem's CEO, Susie Aliker, said:
"Our new research confirms that people are concerned about the future of our planet, but there is less understanding about what specific action is being taken– and how that is changing over time.
“It is clear the financial pressures everyone faces every day present a real obstacle to changing behaviour for many people.
“With this report, we aim to help consumers, business and Government understand the Green Gap and, by tracking it over time, provide an insight into the success of interventions to support greener choices.
“We’ve been hugely encouraged to see so many people want to make the big changes needed to achieve our greener ambitions. But there is more to be done to equip consumers with the knowledge and tools they need to start making greener choices.”
The Green Gap is measured by combining the bank’s own bespoke research with existing research and data sources, supplemented by expert analysis to gain even greater insight.
Tandem is focused on its mission to provide hard working people across the UK with sustainable ways to borrow and save – helping them to make greener financial choices.
Click here to read the Green Gap in full.