Written by By Staff By Staff
Three-quarters of British people want the government to freeze energy prices, but 85% think the government should increase taxes on fossil fuels and companies to take on climate change, a new poll from Royal Mail and YouGov found.
The poll found that 74% agreed that the current level of taxes on fossil fuels and companies was too low and 68% agreed that taking action on climate change means a tax increase on fossil fuels, including oil, gas and coal.
The results show that a majority of voters support government action on climate change. Yet just 18% of people said it was “very important” that the government take on this responsibility, while 77% deemed this a “somewhat important” or “somewhat important” action.
The poll was conducted last month. It asked voters if they agreed with a host of statements regarding government action on climate change, including whether it was “very important” that the government take action.
Two-thirds of voters believe that the government should increase taxes on fossil fuels and companies to reduce climate change while just 10% disagreed. By contrast, 19% thought taking action on climate change wasn’t an important consideration, according to the survey.
One in four Britons also agreed that Britain’s response to climate change should “pay some attention to fairness,” according to the survey. Only 26% disagreed and 28% were not sure.
On Tuesday, Barclays bank released a new report showing that 85% of businesses globally support action on climate change, despite several companies in industries that are reliant on fossil fuels saying they oppose a tax on carbon pollution.
British energy firms, such as Centrica and British Gas, as well as multinationals like ExxonMobil and BP, have long opposed tax increases on fossil fuels to tackle climate change. But the debate is changing.
Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to tackle climate change since she took office in July 2016. Her proposals, including adopting a clean energy target, are part of a new commitment to fight climate change set out in a policy document that she released in October.
Those goals include cutting emissions by 80% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. While the government hasn’t stated a plan for capping emissions from existing projects, the document says that a government is “fairly certain” that emissions at the current level cannot be met without new interventions.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set out its plans in a legal notice in October. The notice outlined 22 initiatives “aimed at supporting UK industry to reduce its emissions rapidly and sustainably.”
Proposals include making low-carbon energy more attractive and simplifying the process for permitting new buildings in Britain. The department has not yet listed its plans to cap emissions.
“I was very encouraged by the comments of Theresa May in her announcement on climate change, but the government has not published a plan for implementing her proposals yet,” a spokesperson for the environmental campaigning group WWF told CNN on Saturday.
The UK’s energy companies are the dominant user of fossil fuels in the country. There are 3.6 million homes in Britain that rely on gas-fired power, the first-ever department of energy and climate change study from 2010 said.
Overall, the UK has 25.2 million homes in the country.