Lifestyle changes needed to tackle climate change, Welsh public declares in new survey

Photo by Akil Mazumder:

84% of the 1,149 participants of a Welsh government survey believe that the way the we live our lives needs to ‘substantially change’ to address the climate emergency.

84% of the survey respondents say they would like to see even less food being wasted, less packaging and increased recycling, while 81% reported to be already minimising their food waste or were likely to do so.

The Welsh Government announced its circular economy strategy earlier this year.

The Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, commented on the findings: “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 well-being 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.”

86% of the survey respondents admitted they are concerned about climate change, only 15% of respondents thought that it would affect their local area ‘a great deal’.

However, nearly half of them (42%) did recognise that climate change could impact their local area ‘to some extent’.

According to the Welsh Government, this reflects the recent Climate Change Committee report which unearthed the urgent and widespread climate related risks Wales now faces.

The bulk of those surveyed also believed that a net zero emissions future would be better for their well-being (77%) and health (80%).

In the meantime, around half (51%) said net zero would be better for the economy, while 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.