The British Social Attitudes Survey found that two fifths of participants were very concerned about the environment and just over a fifth said that it was one of the top two issues for the country as a whole. The comparable figures for 2010 were 22 per cent and eight per cent. Almost half of the respondents now see climate as the most important environmental issue, compared to less than a fifth in 2010. Nearly two thirds thought that climate change was extremely or very damaging to the environment compared with just over two fifths in 2010.
A report by the UK Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit states that the EU, China and India look likely to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions faster than expected but that the UK currently is taking insufficient action to meet its targets.
COP15 in Copenhagen set a $100bn a year climate finance target which was intended to be met by 2020, but this target has not been met. Analysis by Carbon Brief found that the US had so far given 19 per cent of its share, Canada 37 per cent and the UK 76 per cent.
Climate change is forecast to cause at least £870bn in damage a year by intensifying storms, floods, droughts and other disasters. Poorer, developing countries bear the brunt of this and there were calls for the first time at COP27 for reparations or for the creation of a ‘Loss and Damage’ fund contributed to by richer countries and the major producers of greenhouse gas emissions like the USA and China. Agreement to establishment of this fund was unexpectedly reached at the last minute, but it is likely to take at least a year to determine the outline of who will pay how much to whom.
According to Global Justice Now, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and Total Energies are responsible for more than 11 per cent of global historic CO2 emissions and it argues that they too should make reparations to countries vulnerable to climate change.
UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency, has pledged to suspend its debt service demands whenever a low-income country is suffering from damage from a hurricane, flood or similar crisis.