YouGov poll indicates the environment is now the third top issue among voters behind health and Brexit
Public concern for the environment appears to still be on the rise, with the latest polling indicating green issues are currently more important than the economy to voters.
A YouGov poll commissioned by The Times asked voters to name their top three most important issues facing the country, with environment coming in as the third top choice among voters, surging from 10th position in the same poll two years ago.
Among those polled, 28 per cent cited the environment as one of their top three issues facing the UK, while 44 per cent named health, and 43 per cent pointed to Brexit, marking the first time since 2016 the UK's exit from the EU has not been the top issue of concern for voters, YouGov said.
Environment is now of greater importance among voters than the economy, which was cited by 27 per cent of those polled, and crime, which was among the top issued named by 26 per cent of respondents, the survey results released on Wednesday show.
It came as the government released its latest Public Attitudes Tracker survey results yesterday covering a range of energy and clean growth issues. The results showed public support for renewable energy technologies remains overwhelmingly positive, with backing from 83 per cent of the 4,200 UK adults questioned.
Levels of support for renewables in the regular public attitudes surveys have remained strong since the question was first asked in 2012, ranging from between 74 per cent and 85 per cent.
After the government promised to halt shale gas projects in the UK last year, however, support for fracking continues to dwindle, with 41 per cent stating their opposition, rising from 21 per cent in 2013. Active support for fracking, meanwhile, has fallen from 27 per cent to just 10 per cent over the same period, the survey results show.
Juliet Davenport, CEO and founder of renewable electricity supplier Good Energy, said the latest poll results demonstrated growing support among the public for a greener economy.
"The huge support for renewables in this poll shows the public gets climate change, and is way ahead of politicians," she said. "It couldn't be clearer that people want us to get on with building a zero-carbon Britain. As the UK gears up to host the world's largest climate talks, the government should lead by example and make this year's UN summit the boldest on record."
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