Almost half of the UK public questioned for a Charities Aid Foundation poll believe that charities are an important part of the climate change debate, with younger people more likely to think so.
The CAF poll found that, overall, 46% agreed with the statement, while 28% neither agreed nor disagreed and 9% didn’t know. Just over half (51%) disagreed with the statement “Charities should not get involved in the climate change debate”, with 24% neither agreed nor disagreed and 8% said they didn’t know.
Younger respondents, 16-24 year olds, were most likely to think that “Charities are an important part of the climate change debate”, with 59% feeling this way. Just over two thirds of this age group also disagreed (69%) with the statement that “Charities should not get involved in the climate change debate”.
CAF also asked people who they thought had most effectively led the climate change debate. Individuals were chosen by 35% of respondents as the most effective, a figure that rose to 38% amongst women and 45% among 16-24 year olds. This was ahead of international bodies such as the United Nation on 14%, charities on 9%, Government on 8% and businesses on 2%.
CAF’s Head of Research Susan Pinkney commented:
“People clearly see individuals as leading the public debate on climate change. This is likely to have been a result of prominent activists such as Greta Thunberg and the school climate protests.”
“It’s notable that a sizeable minority of those polled were unsure about whether or not charities are an important part of the climate debate, or whether they should play any role at all.
“Charities like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth often lead the climate conversation, but perhaps the charity sector at large – along with international bodies, governments and businesses – need to get better at expressing how they’re helping to tackle what is emerging as the defining issue of our age.”
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