Britain Ready for Social Innovation, Renewable Energy and to be Green

A recent survey by YouGov commissioned by The Sunday Times, a leading newspaper in the U.K., shows that the British public strongly supports social innovation and renewable energy! The poll of nearly 1,700 people carried out this November reveals some intriguing environmental results. The timing and the results of this survey are seen as explosive by many British environmentalists, especially given that the right-wing U.K. press has been extremely negative about green issues, waging a strong campaign against climate change, wind farms, renewable energy and the green taxes that pay for it. Traditionally, the British press can be split into two camps – the right-wing and left-wing, based on their political views.

The public were asked various questions, yet, the main question of interest was - "Thinking about the country's future energy provision, do you think the government should be looking to use more or less of the following?" The answer was a surprise. Nearly three quarters want to see more solar power and 56 per cent want more wind farms, compared to only 35 per cent who want more nuclear and 16 per cent who want more coal power. A massive 60 per cent think it is right for the government to subsidise wind farms to encourage social innovation and investment in new capacity, compared to just 26 per cent who oppose such policies and the 15 per cent who don't know.

Interestingly, 47 per cent of people in the U.K. think wind farms are a realistic way of combating climate change, compared to 36 per cent who don't, with the remainder unsure. Meanwhile, over two thirds think social innovation and solar power can realistically combat climate change. Solar energy is more popular than intrusive wind farms, as local communities feel that the hydra power windmills scars the look of their landscapes.

The results get even more stimulating when you drill down by voting intention, age, and region, as the support for more solar power is solid across all demographics. On the crucial question of whether U.K. government subsidies to support renewable power and social innovation are right or wrong, a clear majority think they are right across all demographics and age groups—except people aged 60 plus as here only 48 per cent think they are right.

The U.K. government is committed to increasing the proportion of energy the country uses from renewable sources. As a result these findings are the best kind of early Christmas present to help it set and implement policies. Climate change is one of the gravest threats we face not only as a nation but as a planet; urgent action at home and abroad is required. The development of renewable energy sources and social innovation will enable the U.K. to play its full part in international efforts to reduce the production of harmful greenhouse gases.

Photo Credit: Ali Smiles :)

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