Cross-party MPs’ Halloween horror at government’s proposed “daylight robbery”

Images: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bRN7tEAp7O-REuhfFhaokyv4vu8VKunl

MPs from across the political spectrum have backed a campaign seeking to protect the rights of rooftop solar owners in the UK against proposed government changes.

22 MPs dared to take part in a spooky pitchblack photo shoot, to illustrate the ‘daylight robbery’ threat to new solar homes next year. MPs brave enough to take part included Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis, Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead, Conservative MP David Amess, Green MP Caroline Lucas and SNP energy spokespeople Drew Hendry and Alan Brown.

In a surprise move, the government has recently announced plans to axe the ‘export tariff’ for new solar installations. The export tariff is a fair market payment for clean power exported to the grid from solar homes and buildings. If these plans go through, householders, schools, churches and other public buildings undertaking new solar projects will be forced to effectively donate the excess clean electricity they generate to big energy companies for free.

The proposal runs counter to new EU laws which requires governments to ensure people are paid ‘at a fair market rate’ for the clean power they contribute to the grid. A recent YouGov poll by campaign group 10:10 shows over 70% of people want to see the UK Government follow suit and continue to pay people fairly for the clean power they produce.

The campaigners, which include the Solar Trade Association, 10:10 Climate Action, UK Youth Climate Coalition, NFU, ECA and Community Energy England, are calling on the government for fair treatment of rooftop solar with a fair export tariff guaranteed after March 2019.

Sir David Amess MP said:

“The solar industry has taken the UK from near zero to over a million installations in just 8 years. In doing so solar costs have come tumbling down - but it stands to reason even cheap energy still needs payment for the power it provides.

That’s why I’m backing this campaign to ensure fair treatment for new solar households and businesses. The clean energy and jobs of tomorrow are at stake”

Caroline Lucas MP said;

“The British public love solar - nine out of ten people back it, and three out of every 5 would like to install solar panels themselves. The government’s bizarre plans to stop homes and businesses being paid for the clean power they produce will make this all but impossible. I’m calling on the energy minister Claire Perry to bring government policy in line with the public’s desire for clean energy at a fair price.”

Leonie Greene, new markets director at the Solar Trade Association said;

We are very grateful for the support these MPs have given.  It is extraordinary & very sad that we are having to fight for basic fair market treatment for people who want to install solar power in future. Solar is now very affordable so it is vital that Government doesn’t create new nonsensical barriers to people & communities all over the UK who want to go solar.

Max Wakefield lead campaigner at 10:10 said;

What the government proposes is daylight robbery – literally. Like a vampire this move threatens to suck the life out of the solar industry. We urge every one of our lawmakers to get behind our campaign for basic fair treatment for solar homes and communities. Action on climate change, solar jobs and clean power for ordinary households, businesses and community organisations is at stake.


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Notes to editors

Leave voters want the UK to match EU protection for solar households and businesses

A new poll by YouGov for 10:10 Climate Action during the ’ has found that a majority of the public want to see the UK match incoming European protections for households and businesses that produce solar power.

71% of the public want to see the UK match the new European rights which will guarantee that households and business with solar panels installed are paid for clean power they export to the grid for use by others. The results remain high for Leave voters, with 69% support for aligning future UK and European protections for so-called ‘prosumers’ - with only one in ten in opposition. The poll comes as the government seeks to establish its green credentials during its first Green Great Britain Week.

The government recently announced its intention to axe the ‘export tariff’ - the UK mechanism by which rooftop solar panel owners are paid for surplus energy they export to the grid - for new solar installations after March 2019. This would mean power being given for free to energy companies whose customers would use the surplus energy without the companies having to buy it. The change would arrive at the same time as the removal of feed-in tariff subsidies for solar installations, which were heavily reduced in 2015.

The polling also found that just 2% of people oppose the building of solar power, and found strong support for the government providing subsidies to widen access to rooftop solar installations for schools (83%), community groups and housing associations (75%) and low income households (71%).

The government’s own figures, branded optimistic by the Solar Trade Association (STA), suggest removal of both the export tariff and feed-in tariff will result in a 50% reduction in rooftop solar installation rates that are already 85% down on 2015. 10:10 Climate Action and the STA are part of the Fair4Solar Coalition calling for fair treatment of rooftop solar with a fair export tariff guaranteed after March 2019.

Neil Jones, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said:

‘Anyone can see scrapping the export tariff for what it is - quite literally daylight robbery. Just as Europe looks to protect its rooftop solar producers, our ministers are expecting households and businesses to give clean energy away for free to corporate energy companies.

No wonder that both Leave and Remain voters are largely united in backing rights for Brits that match protections in Europe. Government must urgently announce an export tariff for small scale solar after March 2019 - or it will send a very clear message that benefits from solar and taking urgent action on climate change are off-limits to ordinary people.’

Alan Whitehead, Labour’s shadow minister for energy and climate change, said:

‘Removing the export tariff while keeping everything else the same means households and schools giving away their energy to energy supply companies to profit from. This is simply unfair, and would hold back the rollout of solar energy.

If people didn’t believe that this government was bent on killing the solar industry, this latest unjust measure should confirm it. We welcome 10:10’s work in highlighting the strong popularity of solar energy and call on the government to stop attacking this important sector.’

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Data from the YouGov poll is available for download:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sdxtRXYA6RSJwxg5fNwDqBUZnz8LA3w7eufAVCKSdz0/edit?usp=sharing


For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and communications officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate and their own lives too. www.1010uk.org

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,612 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 16th October 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighed and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

  • The Fair4Solar coalition includes Solar Trade Association, Community Energy England and the National Farmers Union and has gathered 300 signatures from industry, consumer groups, NGOs and academia for a letter calling on the government to retain an export tariff after March 2019.

  • The recently updated European Renewable Energy Directive requires member states to enshrine in law by latest 2021 a guarantee that those producing ‘self-generated renewable electricity’ receive ‘remuneration which reflects the market value and may take into account the long-term value...to the grid, the environment and society’. That deadline could coincide with the end of a Brexit transitional period. https://www.aib-net.org/documents/103816/5909180/Final+text+of+RED+II+post-trilogue/fac12256-fb7c-6248-b2e8-b50dcd333715

  • The export tariff is not a subsidy, as it is currently pays below the wholesale market rate for electricity, and as such carries no additional cost to the consumer.

  • STA figures suggest solar installation rates are down 85% from 2015.


Report shows London’s lost rivers could provide low carbon heat across the city.

A new report launched today has outlined the potential for London’s lost rivers to provide renewably sourced heat to Londoners through heat pump technology.

Using data from Thames Water the report, by 10:10 Climate Action and energy consultants Scene, researched the heat potential of London hidden rivers. These include the Fleet, Tyburn and Effra, whose potential was assessed against a number of indicative case studies across residential, educational, office and heritage buildings.

The most eye-catching opportunity the report identifies is with Buckingham Palace, which lies above the ancient course of the River Tyburn. The team estimate that up to 100% of the palace’s heat demand could be met through heat recovered from the subterranean waterway beneath Green Park. The Royal Household has previously indicated that they are already considering heat pumps as part of the Palace’s planned refurbishment, so 10:10 are hoping to encourage contractors to explore the Tyburn as a future source of heat for the Queen’s London residence.

The report also found that, following some reconfiguration of the existing heating systems, a heat pump in the River Fleet could provide a third of the energy currently distributed through the Somers Town Heat Network in Camden. Further upstream, researchers found that the Fleet could provide all the heating needs of the Acland Burghley school in the north of the borough. Looking south of the Thames, the report suggests that Brockwell Lido, whose winter temperature can fall to as low as 2C, could be heated by the nearby River Effra to a temperature of 25C year round.

With the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, aiming for London to become a zero-carbon city by 2050, finding ways to decarbonise the city’s heat demand will become increasingly important. Nationally, progress has been slow, however, with the UK on course to miss its EU targets for 2020. The authors hope it can begin a conversation about how London can utilise the vast heat potential laying beneath our streets.

Leo Murray, director of campaigns at 10:10 Climate Action, said

“Most Londoners have no idea that under our feet there is a huge untapped resource of heat energy just waiting to be harnessed. The Mayor has set ambitious targets for phasing out gas burning in London over the coming years, and we are going to need every bit of low carbon heat we can get our hands on to meet these goals. This means our utilities and authorities need to ramp up their appetite for adventure when it comes to seeking out opportunities like the ones identified in this report.”

Louise Waters, Senior Consultant at Scene said:

“London’s lost rivers have in truth been integrated into the city’s drainage network for a hundred and fifty years, and whilst underground rivers like the ones we investigated in this report may be unusual, there are large capacity sewers in nearly every major city around the world. Other countries, including Scotland, are already successfully tapping into these heat resources, so we hope that London will be brave enough to follow suit in the near future.”

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Report: http://files.1010global.org.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/LostRivers_heat_seeking_report.pdf

For further information and requests for interviews:  Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors: 

  • 10:10 Climate Action is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate as well as improving people’s lives today.  http://1010uk.org/.

  • Scene Connect ("Scene") are a social enterprise that works with communities to build resilience through local ownership of renewable energy systems. They work across UK and build products for the global 'energy access' market.

Government is making planning policy to placate a minority that is far more likely to hold climate sceptic views, analysis of official data suggests.

Briefing document on findings: http://files.1010global.org/blownaway/Public_attitudes_onshore_wind_April2018_1010_briefing.pdf

Planning policy on onshore wind is being made to satisfy a small minority, a new analysis of government survey data suggests. Moreover, this minority is far more likely to hold climate sceptic views than the general public.

In 2015, following their manifesto pledge to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms”, the Conservative government issued new planning guidance aimed at restricting onshore wind developments. This move was justified in the manifesto by the claim that onshore wind “often fails to gain public support”. The planning conditions which now face new wind energy developments in England amount to an effective ban on the technology, and have led to a 94% drop in the number of planning applications for wind turbines since they were introduced.

Yet it has long been known through the government’s own data that only a small minority of people strongly oppose onshore wind - just 3.5% over five years of official government surveys. A new analysis of this survey data for 10:10 Climate Action shows that members of this group are 2.5 times more likely to believe that climate change doesn’t exist or is a mainly natural phenomenon compared to the general population.

This new analysis also showed that this group opposing onshore wind is far more likely to be from an older generation. A person over 65 being seven times more likely to strongly oppose onshore wind than a person under 45.

Overall, onshore wind enjoys huge public support, with the latest government data showing a record 76% of the population backing the technology. According to today’s data the general public are 15 times more likely to strongly support than strongly oppose onshore wind.

Leo Murray, director of strategy at 10:10 Climate Action, said:

Onshore wind is a cheap, effective, and highly popular solution to the defining challenge of the 21st century - human-made climate change. Yet wind turbines are now banned in England, in order to please an elderly, ill-informed minority who don’t believe the problem exists. The UK has world-leading climate change legislation, and the government has just made clear that they expect to put the UK on the path towards net zero carbon emissions. So why are they writing planning policy that makes this goal harder and more expensive to achieve?

Only this month the government made clear they intend us to travel the road towards net zero carbon emissions. But that road can only be lined with evidence based policy making. That means a planning system that doesn’t arbitrarily ban our cheapest form of energy, onshore wind.

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For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 Climate Action is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate as well as improving people’s lives today.  http://1010uk.org/.

  • Five years of Decc/Beis Energy and Climate Change Public Opinion Tracker data was analysed for 10:10 Climate Action by Charlie Young and analysts at the New Economics Foundation

 

Wolverley community kick off flood defence scheme with ceremonial tree planting.

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ffa7ic0tkb1thd4/AABSyT3Wl2d9d8akDB_EeGsMa?dl=0

A new community flood defence scheme was launched in the village of Wolverley with ceremonial tree planting.

Trees offer an effective natural way of slowing the flow of potentially devastating water. Over the course of this year, local volunteers guided by the Wolverley Flood Forum will plant thousands of trees together with the support of the National Flood Forum and 10:10 Climate Action. By planting these trees the community will reduce flood risk in the village whilst also combating a key contributor to floods - climate change.

Over the last decade the community in Wolverley have been flooded on four occasions. By using natural means to help counter this the participants aim to raise local and national awareness of the impact of flooding, as well as  ways in which communities can combat it. With the help of 10:10 Climate Action and the National Flood Forum, more communities across the UK are expected to follow the model piloted by Wolverley in the years to come.

The project is funded by Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Aviva Community Fund.

Ellie Roberts, campaign manager at 10:10 Climate Action said:

With climate change set to make flooding more common, the people of Wolverley are taking a lead to protect themselves. The thousands of trees they'll plant next year will not only help the community be more resilient to flooding, they'll also suck carbon from the atmosphere, helping us all keep global warming to a minimum.

Chris Rees of Wolverley Flood Forum said:

Having been a flood victim with my family of two teenage girls and my wife Lynne plus dog and cats and chickens I remember the grief and stress a flood event can create. My elderly mother and other vulnerable village residents were also affected and in many ways we became responsible for helping them, both during the floods of 2007, and the big clear up after, plus 12 months of works to get straight.

Wolverley is a beautiful place, like many places near to water. Here we are in a steep valley and if nature contrives to throw a deluge at you, your heart can miss a beat. We are hoping the natural flood management scheme will help to improve things and reduce the flood risk to the village and its residents. The opportunity we have will hopefully benefit us for many generations to come.

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For further information and requests for interviews:  Ellie Roberts, campaign manager, ellie.roberts@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 Climate Action is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate as well as improving people’s lives today.  http://1010uk.org/.

  • ‘Grow’ is 10:10 Climate Action’s campaign working in partnership with the National Flood Forum to help communities fight flooding and climate change through mass tree planting led by local people

  • The National Flood Forum exists to support individuals and communities at risk of flooding and have been doing this across the country since 2002.

Official: government confirms family relationships unaffected by onshore wind ban policy

Official: government confirms family relationships unaffected by onshore wind ban policy

FOI request and response: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0py964f86wamsm5/AACgq21wC1RXkOefgVUUx29ta?dl=0

The government performed only a minimal impact assessment on major changes to the planning system targeting onshore wind, new documents reveal.

In 2015, following their manifesto pledge to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms”, the Conservative government issued new planning guidance targeting onshore wind developments. With the government now seeking to cement the changes through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), charity 10:10 Climate Action requested access to the impact assessments performed before and after the changes originally entered force.

The Freedom of Information request response revealed that the only assessment performed was the ‘Families Test’, an assessment brought in during the coalition government to test a policy’s impact on the “strength of family relationships”.

On all counts, the changes to planning for onshore wind were judged to have little discernible impact on families or family formation.

However the changes have had a profound impact on the industry, with a 93.6% decline in onshore wind planning applications in England since the introduction. It is clear from the Families Test assessment that the scale of the decline was unanticipated. Whilst the document acknowledges it would result in a decrease in successful applications, the belief was that this would vary on a “case-by-case basis”. Government data shows that only two new projects have received planning permission since the changes came into place.

Ellie Roberts, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

Of course we’re all incredibly relieved the government has taken the time to investigate how a policy banning new onshore wind farms might affect the nation’s families. But outside of family relations, this change has had big consequences for jobs and investment, so it’s really quite surprising that the government conducted only the bare minimum assessment required before hand.

The government’s own data makes it clear - this effective ban on onshore wind has brought the industry to its knees. The government should see which way the wind is blowing and use the NPPF as an opportunity to unleash onshore wind potential for communities, not cement its restriction.

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For full FOI request and response please see: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0py964f86wamsm5/AACgq21wC1RXkOefgVUUx29ta?dl=0

For further information and requests for interviews:  Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:


 

Islington Council backs charity pledge to switch all street lights to LED

  • All 11,350 street lights in Islington to switch to energy-efficient LEDs

  • Move will save the council an estimated £400,000 per year

  • An estimated 1,414 tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved per year – the equivalent of removing 924 cars from the road

Islington Council has signed a pledge by charity 10:10 Climate Action, affirming its plans to switch all street lights in the borough to energy-efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) by 2022.

Compared to conventional bulbs LEDs have demonstrated energy savings of up to 50-70%.  They can also last for more than 20 years, while conventional bulbs last for 4-6 years, reducing waste and saving time and money on maintenance. By replacing all of Islington’s 11,350 street lights with the more efficient LED bulbs, including upgrading the borough’s 4,025 ‘heritage’ streetlights, the council says it will save more than £400,000 per year. It will also see the council cut an estimated 1,414 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, the equivalent of removing 924 cars from the road.

Whilst the benefits of LEDs have been known for a while, only 10% of councils nationally had switched to LED street lights by 2014, with the most recent estimate suggesting this has only increased to 20%. Islington Council committed to converting its streetlights to LED in 2015. Figures compiled by leading energy researcher Chris Goodall for 10:10 show that if all councils switched to LED they could collectively save £200million per year. 10:10 Climate Action is asking the public to speed up the process, and call on their councils to switch their street lights to LEDs within five years.

Neil Jones, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said:

Islington Council deserves nothing but praise for taking the pledge to lighten up its streets with LEDs. In these tough financial times the money saved will make a real difference to people in the area. And the carbon-cutting potential of LEDs makes this move a no-brainer. That's why we’re calling on more councils to follow Islington's example and pledge to go LED by 2022.

Councillor Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport at Islington Council, said:

As a council, Islington is committed to reducing the impact we have on our environment. We have worked hard to make sure we are ahead of our target of reducing carbon emissions in the borough by 40% by 2020. Once all the lights have been upgraded, the new LED street lamps – including our ‘heritage’ lamps – will help to save the council more than £400,000 per year, by reducing energy consumption and through lower maintenance costs.

By investing to save, Islington Council will have more resources available to protect frontline services, and will reduce the impact our borough has on the environment. That’s why we are proud to be delivering this project and proud to be signing up to 10:10’s ‘Lighten Up’ campaign.

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For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 Climate Action is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate as well as improving people’s lives today.  http://1010uk.org/.

  • Lighten Up is 10:10 Climate Action’s campaign calling on councils to pledge to switch their street lights to LED lighting by 2022.

  • The full estimated savings calculated by Chris Goodall amount to £204,984,000 a year across all councils. This figure was calculated by taking an average of the savings from a 100% conversion to LED street lights for five councils that are representative of the spread across the UK. The average saving, which is estimated to be 60%, was then applied to the current lighting bill for non-LEDs, £341,640,000, giving us the figure £204,984,000 saved per year.

  • The saving of over 1414  tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 924 cars, based on the average amount of CO2 produced per kilometre for new cars in the UK (120.1g), multiplied by the average number of kilometres driven (12,714km).

10:10 reaction to the Committee on Climate Change report

Responding to the Committee of Climate Change report Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action said:

This report makes clear what many of us already know - something needs to change.To meet our climate targets we need more than nice words and wishful thinking. We need clear, dedicated policy to back it up. And with clean energy investment tanking and the Budget offering no new money for renewables until 2025, it’s clear this is a message government needs hear.   

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For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Theresa May's speech on the environment - 10:10 Cimate Action's reaction

Reacting to the prime minister's speech, Leo Murray, director of strategy at 10:10 Climate Action said:

The Conservatives’ failure to take real, decisive action on climate change makes this green reboot a non starter. Yes, measures to tackle plastics are very welcome, but we can’t let it distract from the fact that government policy continues to hold back the renewable industries essential to our country’s decarbonisation.

An environmental plan which fails to put climate change at its heart is not worthy of the name. Aiming to be “the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we inherited” sounds wonderful. But it seems to suggest that Theresa May does not remotely understand the scale of the climate change impacts already locked in due to successive governments’ failure to take effective action on this issue.  
 

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For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

 

10:10 Climate Action reaction to the Balcombe fracking announcement

Commenting on the Balcombe fracking decision Leo Murray, director of strategy at 10:10 Climate Action said:

As the community are once again thrust into the spotlight, it’s clear that Balcombe is emblematic of much that is wrong with energy policy in the UK. In 2015 Balcombe united behind the vision of a locally owned, renewable future - only to have their community solar scheme torpedoed by vindictive government cuts. Yet fracking, the government’s deeply unpopular pet energy project, is set to be imposed once again on them.

We know that communities across the UK want to choose wind and solar, but are blocked at every turn by a hostile government. The government’s recent attempts to rebrand as environmentally friendly are doomed to fail so long as keep backing the wrong horse in this race.

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For further information and requests for interviews:
Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Almost a quarter of Brits now more concerned about climate change than they were last year

Nearly a quarter of the population are more concerned about climate change than they were this time last year, according to new polling published today by YouGov for charity 10:10 Climate Action.

When questioned about their level of concern, 23% of respondents said they were more concerned about the issue than they had been at the same time last year, compared to only 3% who said they were less concerned. 46% of respondents said they were concerned in 2017 and would remain at the same level in 2018.

A number of high profile climate change stories have hit the headlines in 2017. The start of the Trump Presidency saw him make good on his election pledge to begin withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate treaty, whilst a series of climate change linked hurricanes hit the US and Caribbean this summer causing widespread destruction. 

As part of their Carbon Crush campaign, 10:10 Climate Action are encouraging the public to use the new year as a chance to channel their concern and take action on climate change in 2018.  The campaign provides participants with climate focused tips, actions, advice and encouragement.

Alice Bell, co-director at 10:10 Climate Action.

As we look ahead to a new year,  there’s no better time to start combating climate change than right now. There’s been a lot to worry about in the last year, but there’s also a lot we can do to make a difference and build the hope we want to see in the future.

We know a lot of people want to take action on climate change, but are unsure about where to start. We also know that we’re going to tackle climate change, we need a whole load of people taking action in a whole range of ways - from eating less meat to getting your local streetlights switched to LED or lobbying the government on wind power. That’s why we’re providing a mix of tips, information and advice you need to make climate action a habit you can stick to in  2018.

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Polling (question 3): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_iP7r7wrhj92-r2dQpIfhFmqtZz0oDLPhVp5VoCSL0k/edit?usp=sharing

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate and their own lives too. www.1010uk.org
  • The Carbon Crush climate action toolkit is a month-long programme of tips, actions, advice and encouragement. 
  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,680 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 11th December 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Over a third of population received presents they had no use for last Christmas.

Over one-third of Brits received presents they had no use for last Christmas, according to new polling published today by YouGov for charity 10:10 Climate Action.

The results revealed that 36% of the population received at least one present they threw away, resold, returned, gave away or kept unused. When asked what they did with unwanted presents, the largest proportion either gave them away to charity shops (27%) or kept them unused (27%).

The polling was commissioned as part of 10:10 Climate Action’s Swap Shopping campaign, which is encouraging the public to pledge to give some quality time - rather than gifts - to those they care about.

With issues such as climate change and plastic waste pollution increasingly visible to the public, the charity are hoping the campaign will help the public take time to consider the environmental cost of Christmas consumerism whilst also helping them to spend more time with friends and family.

 Bea Xu, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said:

An awful lot of us are getting presents we don’t want, so perhaps it’s time to do something a little different this Christmas? We could cut carbon, cut waste and gain some quality time with our nearest and dearest if we swapped one of those Christmas gift and gave those we care about some of our time this year. 

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To download the full polling table: http://files.1010global.org/documents/1010_polling_results_171211.xls

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

●      10:10 is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate and their own lives too.

●      Swap Shopping is an intervention challenging the UK public to trade in traditional seasonal overspending on gifts for carefully considered time invested in a friend or family member.

●      All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,680 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 11th December 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Charity partners with plant-based chefs to promote low carbon festive feasts.

As the nation gears up for the Christmas period, charity 10:10 Climate Action have partnered with vegan chefs to promote low carbon, plant-powered feasting this festive season.

Our diets are a big factor in the causes of climate change, with animal agriculture a key source of carbon dioxide and methane, both powerful greenhouse gases. With scientific research increasingly clear that diets low in meat and dairy are significantly less carbon intensive, 10:10 Climate Action are inviting everyone - vegans and omnivores alike -  to celebrate the environmental benefits of plant based feasting this festive season.

The charity are calling on the public to pledge to cook one plant-powered meal for friends and family over the winter holidays as a way of showcasing the possibilities of plant based cooking and starting conversations to shift attitudes.

By joining the pledge participants will earn the chance to win a year's supply of Ben & Jerry's vegan ice cream. And with recipes and support from plant-based chefs including Wicked Healthy and Exceedingly Vegan, 10:10 Climate Action hope the campaign provides the opportunity for vegans and vegetarians to show friends and family that plant-based feasting is something to savour - and to begin plant-powering more and more dinner tables across the country in 2018.

Emma Kemp, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said:

It’s incredible to see  more and more people embracing plant based diets, and the massive explosion in recipes and innovation that has come with all this new energy. There are so many options for a plant-based diet now - from vegan meringue and ice cream to a misco sweet potato pie - it’s not just about being stuck with some bean stew any more.

With more and more evidence that we need to cut down on meat and dairy to tackle climate change, what better time to bring these benefits to our family and friends than through a plant powered festive feast?  

That’s why we’re calling on the public to sign the pledge, bring together some of their nearest and dearest and cook for the climate this christmas.

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For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

 

Electric railways could be powered directly by subsidy-free solar, new report finds

 

  • 15% of the commuter rail network across Kent, Sussex and Wessex could be directly powered by track-connected solar PV arrays

  • 6% of the London Underground’s energy demand - equivalent to half the electricity used by trains on the Piccadilly line - could be supplied directly by solar.

  • 20% of the Merseyrail network in Liverpool could also be solar powered.

  • Electric railways closer to the equator could run entirely on solar power, without having to rely on local power grids.

Connecting solar panels directly to rail, tube and tram networks could meet a significant share of their electricity needs, suggests a report published today by the climate change charity 10:10 and Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab.

The report’s authors investigated the potential for using bespoke new power electronics to connect solar panels directly to the substations that provide power to the rail system. This approach could bypass the electricity grid altogether. The renewable traction power feasibility study found that track-connected solar arrays and integrated energy storage could supply around 10% of the energy needed to power trains on the UK’s direct current (DC) electrified routes each year. Crucially, the research found that this clean, renewable power could be supplied at a lower cost than electricity supplied via the grid today.

The biggest opportunity identified in the study is on the commuter rail network south of London. If 200 small solar farms were installed alongside railway lines they could provide 15% of the power needed to run trains on these routes. Analysis by project partners Community Energy South indicates that there are around 400 locations which should be suitable for solar traction projects in the region.

Assessing the potential of the technology on the London Underground, 10:10 found that 6% of the power needed to run the tube could be supplied directly by solar - the equivalent of half the electricity used by trains on the Piccadilly line. The team scoped more than 50 prospective sites in and around London, ranging from derelict land to train depot roofs and station car parks, which could in theory host large enough solar arrays to connect to the Tube’s traction system. However, these sites will be more challenging to develop than rural solar projects.

The research also found that, globally, the potential for direct solar traction power is very promising. In countries such as India with more consistent year-round sunshine, new electrified rail routes could be powered exclusively by solar and battery storage without depending on local grids.

The project partners are now seeking funding to develop a prototype for the new power electronics needed, and to prove the concept with around six to ten community- and commuter-owned pilot projects. These will be in selected locations along rail lines in the South East. Network Rail is Britain’s single largest purchaser of electricity and the team believe the approach can provide a new and exciting route to market for subsidy-free solar energy in the UK.

Leo Murray, Director of strategy at 10:10 Climate Action said:

“We are proud to be contributing to the kind of innovation now needed to support solar in the UK. Being able to sell cheap electricity directly to our largest power consumer could throw a vital lifeline to the nation’s favourite energy source, and the plunging costs of solar mean that it should actually be cheaper to run trains on solar powered routes in the future.

We are particularly excited about bringing commuters together with local communities to crowdfund investment in the first wave of these pioneering new solar projects.”

Professor Tim Green, Director at Energy Futures Lab said:

“I believe that decarbonising our transport sector is key to meeting the UK’s climate targets. The Renewable Traction Power project demonstrates that we can harness solar to make this a reality for our train network. I think that this project, with partners from industry, non-governmental organisations and academia, demonstrates that the best way to tackle many of the issues we face is through collaboration and leveraging expertise.”

Peter McNaught, Head of Asset Operations at London Underground said:

"Improving London’s air quality and reducing our impact on the environment are key elements of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. We are constantly looking for ways to deliver our services in the most efficient and technologically-advanced way possible, and this report broadens our knowledge of how we could potentially use solar power to help run the Tube in the future.”

Lisbeth Frømling, Chief of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment at Network Rail, said:

“Integrating renewable energy into the rail infrastructure would be a major step forward to reaching our goal of delivering a low carbon railway. As one of the largest energy consumers in the country we welcome this important research and the opportunity to collaborate with others to enable innovation. The results of this study are encouraging and it is exciting to think that the concept could become reality.”

Ollie Pendered, Chairman of Community Energy South, said:

“Connecting renewable energy to the rail network is a real positive message for our local communities. Our community energy model allows us to invite local people to invest in these renewable energy projects and in doing so create local social benefits and encourage low carbon communities.”

ENDS

Download full report: http://files.1010global.org/documents/Riding_Sunbeams_1010.pdf

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l6f7l99tpy3u56o/AABTUmb0V8zU0asiMIH9CxOBa?dl=0

 

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 Climate Action is a UK based charity that brings people together to take positive, practical action on climate change. We engage citizens and communities in finding solutions that benefit the climate as well as improving people’s lives today.

  • Energy Futures Lab is an institute of Imperial College London founded in 2005 to develop multidisciplinary, cross-faculty collaborations to tackle the broad range of energy challenges that the world faces. The institute is a small team of dedicated professionals that assists in building connections, coordinating projects and highlighting successes at the College.

  • Community Energy South was established in 2013 as an umbrella organisation and regional hub enabling its members (local community energy groups and community organisations) to grow as sustainable low carbon businesses in the South East of England.

  • Turbo Power Systems acted as specialist contractors to the study. TPS specialise in the design and manufacture of auxiliary power converters and battery chargers for the rail industry and distributed generation systems.

  • The Renewable Traction Power feasibility study was funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, under the Energy Game Changers competition. 10:10 is believed to be the first registered charity ever to receive Innovate UK funding.

  • Network Rail is the UK’s biggest electricity consumer, purchasing nearly 1% of the UK’s national electricity demand to power trains.

  • The London Underground uses 1.3TWh of electricity each year, and is London’s biggest electricity consumer.

  • Around one third of the UK’s electrified railways use direct current (DC) traction power, usually via a third rail, with the remainder using the alternating current (AC) system.

  • The Riding Sunbeams report will be launched at an event at the London Transport Museum on the evening of the 6th December. TV historian and rail enthusiast Dan Snow is introducing, with comments from Climate Change Minister Claire Perry and Wendi Wheeler Energy & Carbon Strategy Manager

10:10 reaction to the Budget


In response to the Budget Ellie Roberts, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said:

It's back to the 70's with Hammond’s fossil fuel budget bonanza. The renewable industries of tomorrow risk leaving us behind as we chase the dirty industries of yesterday. Rather than supporting the likes of north sea oil we should be grasping the opportunities offered by the likes of onshore wind. 

Recent offshore wind success shows the potential for cheap, clean energy when the government gets behind it. In onshore wind we have another winner - we just need the government to grasp it. 


ENDS

Charity counter Black Friday with Swap Shopping Pledge

As high streets gear themselves up for Black Friday, climate change charity 10:10 have today launched a campaign inviting people to 'swap shopping' and pledge to spend more time with family and friends instead.

Since its introduction from the US, Black Friday UK has fast become a key annual retail moment, with this years event expected to see shoppers spend up to £1.74 million per minute online alone. Yet research has shown consumption habits are behind up to 60% of global greenhouse gas - with the festive period being a particularly heavy time for consumption emissions.

But as the biggest christmas shopping day approaches 10:10 are hoping their swap shopping pledge can help tackle the growing waste and carbon footprint of Black Friday, whilst also encouraging people to do more together.

Bea Xu, campaigner  at 10:10 said:

The now annual Black Friday circus might seem to sweep in the season for giving, but does it have to be this way? With our Black Friday bargains bringing ever more waste and carbon, perhaps it’s time to do something a little different.

That’s why this year we’re calling on the public to ditch the deals, bin the bargains and instead pledge to spend some of their time with their nearest and dearest this Christmas.  


ENDS

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

Mass LED streetlight switch could save councils £200 million per year combined

  • Mass switch to LEDs could save UK’s councils £200 million per year

  • 600,000 tonnes of carbon could be also be saved

New figures produced by climate charity 10:10 show a mass switch to LED streetlights could save the UK’s councils over £200 million per year combined.

The figures, compiled by energy expert Chris Goodall using data from a series of councils across the UK, put into clear detail the benefits of making the switch to the more efficient lighting. As well as saving councils £200 million a year, we could save over 600,000 tonnes of carbon a year, the equivalent of removing 400,000 cars from the road.

Compared to conventional bulbs which have to be replaced after 4-6 years, LEDs can last for over 20 years, reducing waste and saving time and money on maintenance. Compared to conventional street lighting, LEDs have demonstrated energy savings of up to 50-70%. This can rise as high as 80% when combined with smart sensors and controls.

Whilst the benefits of LEDs have been known for a while, councils have been slow to switch. By 2014, only 10% of councils had switched to LED streetlights, with the most recent estimate suggesting this has only increased to 20%. 10:10 Climate Action are asking voters to speed up the process, and call on their councils to switch their streetlights to LEDs within five years.

Neil Jones, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

These figures show just how bright an idea LED switching is. In these tough financial times £200 million per year is a huge amount - that’s the same as providing nearly 500,000 pupils with free school meals each year. And coupled with clear environmental benefits it becomes a no brainer. That’s why we’re calling on councils to take up the pledge to switch to greener, cheaper LED street lighting by 2022.

Chris Goodall, leading researcher into new energy technologies, said:

As these figures show, the case for switching to LED is clear. It means more money for councils, less carbon in our atmosphere as well as safer, better lit streets. The time has never been better to get behind the LED revolution.

 

Ends

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings people together to take practical action on climate change http://1010uk.org/.

  • The full estimated savings calculated by Chris Goodall amount to £204,984,000 a year across all councils. This figure was calculated by taking an average of the savings from a 100% conversion to LED streetlights for five councils that are representative of the spread across the UK. The average saving, which is estimated to be 60%, was then applied to the current lighting bill for non-LEDs, £341,640,000, giving us the figure £204,984,000 saved per year.

  • The full carbon saving was calculated as 614,952. This was calculated by dividing the cost saving of £204,984,000 by the estimated current cost per kWh (0.1), to give 2.04984 TWh (which is about 0.6% of the total UK power). This figure was then multiplied by 300 g/kWh (the carbon content of Grid) to get 614,952 tonnes per year carbon savings from a full switch

  • £204,984,000 is the equivalent of providing free school meals for 469,071 children per year. Each meal for a child costs £2.30 and students take 190 meals over an academic year, providing £437 per child per year2. Therefore, £204,984,000 divided by £437 provides free school meals for additional 469,071 children each year. School meals figures can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-funding-allocations-2017-to-2018/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-conditions-of-grant-2017-to-2018

  • The saving of  over 614,952 tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 401,929 cars, based on the average amount of CO2 produced per kilometre for new cars in the UK (120.1g), multiplied by the average number of kilometres driven (12,714km).

  • The comparative life length of LEDs and conventional bulbs can be found here: https://www.localgov.co.uk/What-does-2017-hold-for-lighting/42764

  • Figures on the comparative efficiency of LEDs can be found here: https://www.theclimategroup.org/project/lightsavers

  • The figure that only 10% of councils had switched to LEDs by 2014 comes from the Green Investment Bank’s market report. http://greeninvestmentgroup.com/media/5243/gib-market-report-low-energy-streetlighting-feb-2014-final.pdf

Cold homes loophole could see vulnerable tenants hit with £1bn energy bill.

Housing standards exemptions that opened on Friday could allow landlords to leave some of the most vulnerable private renters with a £1bn energy bill over the next five years.

Regulations were initially passed under the coalition government, but the subsequent closure of energy efficiency funding schemes means landlords may be able to exempt themselves from having to improve the worst privately rented housing stock - potentially affecting up to 700,000 tenants.

From April 2018, regulations will come into force that prohibit the renting of properties with energy performance certificates below band E in England and Wales. Latest figures show this covers close to 300,000 rental properties, with the Government’s own figures estimating the annual energy bill savings for a household moving from band G to E would be £990/yr. For a band F household it would be £510/yr.

However a new loophole in the regulations risks allowing landlords to register for a 5 year exemption from the requirements if there are not adequate energy efficiency policies to fund the measures. With the closure of schemes such as the Green Deal,  Landlord Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) and reductions in the only remaining scheme, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO),campaigners fear landlords will use the lack of funding as a reason not to invest in these properties. This could add up to £1bn to the energy bills of tenants already living in the worst housing stock over the 5 years the exemptions last. In contrast, research has shown that over 70% of properties could meet the standards at a cost of no more than £1,000

10:10 Climate Action is leading a coalition of partners are calling on the government to introduce a cost cap to ensure that necessary improvements are made. Their proposal would requiring landlords to cover costs up to £5000 - the figure the government previously agreed to consult on.

Emma Kemp, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

Already these measures didn’t go far enough - offering only minimum improvements to often vulnerable tenants in the worst housing stock - but with the cold homes loophole they could become toothless.

We have some of the leakiest homes in Europe - every winter we spend a fortune on energy that simply flies through our doors, windows and floors. Rather than letting landlords off the hook, the government should be backing tenants by closing the loophole and capping the cost for landlords instead to ensure fairness to all concerned.

Getting a grip on energy bills was a hot topic of the election, and the government says it wants to end fuel poverty by 2030. This loophole makes both harder. What better way to cut bills and fight climate change than to ensure all tenants live in warm, energy efficient homes?

ENDS

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org, 02073886688

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings people together to take practical action on climate change http://1010uk.org/.

  • The government's estimates for bill savings can be found here

  • According to the latest English Housing Survey figures (tab AT2.7) there are 297,640 which fall into EPC bands F and G. In band F there are 212,594 and band G there are 85,046. There are 14,000 properties below band E in Wales.

  • The overall calculation of £1bn top end figure is found by multiplying the government's estimated savings for households in bands F and G with the number of properties in their respective bands. This is then multiplied by the full five years of the potential exemptions. Full figure - £1,017,374,400

  • 700,000 figure = average inhabitants (2.3 people in the British Housing Survey) multiplied by 300,000 properties.

  • The 70% / £1000 improvement figure comes from the Parity Project report.

  • There are 850,00 fuel poor households in the private rental sector in England across all bands according to data from Future Climate and National Energy Action, 2016.

Fracking and small scale nuclear struggle as onshore wind finds favour with the public

  • 65% of the public would be happy to live within 5 miles of a wind farm

  • In contrast, 62% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a small modular nuclear reactor

  • 61% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a fracking site

  • 69% of the public would be happy to live within 5 miles of community wind turbines

New polling by YouGov for climate charity 10:10 published today in The Guardian reveals in fresh detail the UK public’s attitude to electricity generation technologies like wind, nuclear and fracking.

The poll shows clear happiness with the prospect of living close to onshore wind developments. 65% of the public would be happy to live within 5 miles of a wind farm and 69% would be happy to live within 5 miles of single wind turbines. Significantly, when asked about living near a community owned wind farm - rather than a commercial development - overall unhappiness fell to 17% from 24%.

Notably, the polling found support across the political divide, with a majority of 2017 Tory (57%) and Labour (76%) voters saying they would be happy to live within 5 miles of an onshore wind farm. Equally all the regions of mainland UK surveyed returned favourable results for onshore wind developments. These figures come despite a number of policies implemented by the government to prevent the growth of onshore wind due to claimed widespread opposition to the renewable technology.

The results contrasted sharply with the results for small modular nuclear reactors and fracking. 62% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR). Equally, despite a slew of high profile government policies designed to make fracking sites more palatable to affected communities, 61% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a fracking site.


This trend was again mirrored across the political divide with 55% of 2017 Tory and 69% of Labour voters saying they would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of an SMR. Similarly with fracking 55% of 2017 Tory voters and 71% of Labour voters would be unhappy to live close to a fracking site.

This new data complements ongoing research from the UK government into public attitudes to energy, which have continually shown strong support for renewables and falling support for fracking. It also challenges the story pushed by some politicians and commentators, who insist wind is not popular. Polling by 10:10 and ComRes in October 2016 showed that although 73% of the British public back onshore wind, only 11% think that it is that popular, illustrating a clear difference between perception and reality.

Commenting on the findings, Ellie Roberts campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

The government’s own survey data has long shown that when asked, most British people say they would be happy to host wind farms in their neighbourhoods. But the government has so far neglected to ask this question about their favoured new energy sources, fracking and small modular nuclear reactors. Our new survey helps to plug this gap in our understanding of public attitudes - and shows that the reverse is true for these technologies.

Yet the government has banned new wind power in England supposedly because people don't want it, while forcing fracking on communities that have explicitly rejected it - and pouring hundreds of millions into small modular nuclear reactors that nobody wants to be within 5 miles of. It's very difficult to understand the logic to this when the government also admits that onshore wind energy should already be cheaper than gas or nuclear power in the UK. It is high time for the government to think again about its de facto ban on our cheapest source of new electricity, onshore wind.

ENDS

data from the YouGov poll is available for download:

http://files.1010global.org/blownaway/Polling_public_attitudes_to_energy_tech.xls

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings communities together to take practical action on climate change http://1010uk.org/.

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,660 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th - 13th September 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Climate change polling reveals divided nation

  • 44% of British public feel hopeful about our chances of combating climate changes, 42% do not.
  • Fewer than a third have heard of climate action success stories like renewable energy records (28%) or coal-free power (29%).

  • Success stories inspire greater positivity about the UK’s chance of fighting climate change.

Polling by ComRes released today by climate charity 10:10 has revealed that, when it comes to how we feel about climate change, the UK is a divided nation.

44% of those polled feel hopeful of the UK's ability to combat climate change compared to 42% who do not feel hopeful.

The poll also reveals a clear appetite for individuals and society as a whole to take action on climate change. 60% agree that all of society should take shared responsibility for repairing the environment, whilst 53% agree that individuals must take initiative and change their day-to-day behaviours to fight climate change.

Yet, despite a slew of milestones, fewer than a third have heard of the recent successes for climate action. Larger trends are more likely to be recognised, with 29% having heard that the UK had its first coal-free day since the industrial revolution, and 28% having heard of recent renewable electricity generation records. But far fewer have heard of recent innovations, with only 9% knowing about Scotland's first tidal power turbine generating electricity.

When presented with these success stories, significant numbers of people feel positive about the UK’s chances of combating climate change. Hearing about the UK's recent renewable energy generation records left 54% of people feeling positive about the UK’s ability to tackle climate change, with only 2% feeling negative. Similarly, 51% feel positive when presented the Scottish tidal turbine story and only 2% feel negative.

The polling was conducted as part of 10:10’s Climate Hope Day which aims to use positive climate action stories to help inspire action by the public on climate change.

Commenting on the findings Esther Griffin, Climate Hope lead at 10:10 Climate Action said:

There’s no doubting climate change can be terrifying, and it’s important that people recognise the scale. But 10:10 was founded on the idea that hope is also an important, powerful tool for inspiring action, and people need stories of things going right on climate change, as well as news to worry about.  

As this poll shows, we’re a pretty divided nation when it comes to how we feel about climate change. But it also shows that when people are presented with some of the amazing success of climate action, they feel more positively about our chances. We should be shouting these stories from the rooftops so we can galvanize the climate action we both desperately need and, as this poll shows, the public want to see.

ENDS

Data from the ComRes poll is available for download:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vh3zty57v274t7c/AAA4GnF4vjrtgi4711uxNYBxa?dl=0

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings communities together to take practical action on climate change http://1010uk.org/.

  • ComRes interviewed 2009 British adults 18+ online between the 23rd and 25th of June 2017. Data were weighted by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade to be representative of the population as a whole. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules (www.britishpollingcouncil.org).