Electoral success hinges on supportive Net Zero policies

Energy UK, the industry’s trade body, has today published polling conducted with Public First to gauge public awareness and sentiment regarding Net Zero.

The results demonstrate overwhelming support for the Government’s ambitious climate goals, including amongst 2019 Conservative voters.

46% of people surveyed revealed that they either do not know what Net Zero means or have never heard of it. This statistic underscores the importance of public education on this critical issue.

When Net Zero is explained to all voters, a clear majority express their endorsement for this critical target, with Conservative voters even more likely than the general public to support it (71% vs. 69%). These findings dispel the misconceptions that a lack of understanding equates to a lack of support.

The poll also revealed that 51% of respondents believe this Government is not putting in enough effort to reach the Net Zero target, while only 37% believe that current efforts are sufficient. It is evident that voters expect more significant action from the Government in decarbonising our economy, emphasising the need to redouble our efforts and avoid complacency.

Supporting Net Zero is likely to reap dividends at the ballot box, with 63% of voters saying they would support a policy of standing by existing Net Zero targets if it were put in a party manifesto. Only 9% of people would oppose such a policy, including a mere 11% of those planning on voting Conservative. These numbers indicate that electoral success hinges on both upholding the UK’s Net Zero targets and intensifying efforts to achieve them.

Energy UK’s Deputy Director, Adam Berman, said;

“These poll results clearly show that the road to success at the next General Election will be paved by commitment to an ambitious Net Zero agenda.

“However, there is much more to be done to engage with, and educate, the public on what this transition entails.

“As the Prime Minister rightly emphasised, we have to bring people with us on the journey to Net Zero.

“While challenges remain, the British public overwhelmingly supports the Government’s Net Zero ambition and expects a concerted effort to make it a reality.

“Private sector engagement is key; most of the investment required will come from businesses and the quicker we make the transition, the higher this proportion will be, freeing up taxpayer funding for other issues important to society.”

Notes to editors

  1. Energy UK is the trade association for the energy industry with over 100 members – from established FTSE 100 companies right through to new, growing suppliers, generators and service providers across energy, transport, heat and technology. Our members deliver nearly 80% of the UK’s power generation and over 95% of the energy supply for 28 million UK homes as well as businesses. The sector invests £13bn annually and delivers nearly £30bn in gross value – on top of the nearly £100bn in economic activity through its supply chain and interaction with other sectors. The energy industry is key to delivering growth and plans to invest £100bn over the course of this decade in new energy sources. The energy sector supports 700,000 jobs in every corner of the country. Energy UK plays a key role in ensuring we attract and retain a diverse workforce. In addition to our Young Energy Professionals Forum, which has over 2,000 members representing over 350 organisations, we are a founding member of TIDE, an industry-wide taskforce to tackle Inclusion and Diversity across energy.
  2. Public First poll of 2,003 UK adults, conducted online 15th September – 19th September 2023. Full results are available on the Public First website
  3. When asked “To what extent do you support or oppose the UK Government’s Net Zero target?”, 69% of people answered “Strongly support” or “Somewhat support”. 71% of people intending to vote Conservative at the next election answered “Strongly support” or “Somewhat support”.
  4. 51% of people said either that “The Government is not really putting enough effort to reach net zero” or “The government is not putting nearly enough effort to reach net zero”. 37% of people said either that “The Government is putting the right amount of effort to reach net zero” or “The Government is doing more than enough to reach net zero”
  5. When asked “Imagine a political party announced the following in its manifesto ahead of the next General Election. To what extent would you support or oppose the policy?: We will stand by our existing net zero targets and other commitments to reduce carbon emissions from energy, transport and heating”, 63% said they would “Strongly support” or “Somewhat support” the policy. 9% of people said the “Somewhat oppose” or “Strongly oppose” the policy, including 11% of people intending to vote Conservative at the next election.

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