Climate change is now accepted as a serious serious fact of life by 80% of the population, according to a survey by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). But only 9% of people are ready to get rid of their cars, cut out air travel completely or make similar significant changes to their travel habits.
Meanwhile, a third would make moderate changes, such as car-sharing or buying a greener car, and another third would start taking public transport or riding a bicycle.
The survey coincides with publication of the ICE’s State of the Nation, Low Carbon Infrastructure, report which stresses that behaviour change and political action is fundamental to efforts to create a low-carbon society.
It says transport, energy, waste and water networks must be adapted to minimise emissions, and calls for rail electrification, wind farms and combined heat and power plants.
ICE president Paul Jowitt said “Delivering cuts in emissions on the scale needed and within the time restraints that exist will require radical changes in behaviour and society.
“However, public behaviour is restricted by the choices available to them. We need to transform the infrastructure that makes up the fabric of society and underpins economic activity so that the only choices we make are low carbon ones.”