An overwhelming majority of people in Wales (84%) believe that the way we live our lives needs to substantially change to address the climate emergency, according to results from a government survey of 1,149 Welsh participants.
Given Wales’ ambitious zero waste targets, circular economy strategy and position on the global recycling rates leader board, it may be unsurprising that 84% say they would like to see even less food being wasted, less packaging and increased recycling. 81% reported to be already minimising their food waste or were likely to do so.
While 86% admitted they are concerned about climate change, only 15% of respondents thought that it would affect their local area ‘a great deal’. Nearly half of participants (42%) however, did recognise that climate change could impact their local area ‘to some extent’, reflecting the recent Climate Change Committee report which unearthed the urgent and widespread climate related risks Wales now faces.
Looking to a brighter future, the bulk of those surveyed believed that a net zero emissions future would be better for their wellbeing (77%) and health (80%). Around half (51%) said net zero would be better for the economy. 80% also supported the UK’s commitment of reaching net zero by 2050 and most would like to see a range of behaviour changes to reach this.
The Minister for Climate Change Julie James said:
“In Wales we look out for each other, so I have no doubt in our ability to unite in big and bold actions to fight the climate emergency. Reaching net zero by 2050 will require decisive action over the next ten years, meaning government, businesses and communities coming together to change the way we eat, shop, travel and heat our homes."
“Whilst there will be up-front costs in taking action, the long-term financial and wellbeing costs of doing nothing will be significantly higher. We know climate change will impact all of our communities, with floods in Wales predicted to become even more frequent and drastic than the last two years we have experienced."
“We mustn’t feel overwhelmed by the actions we take today to invest in our future. A net zero Wales will look healthier, happier and more prosperous for us and our children and grandchildren, and all generations that follow.