How Climate Change Is Dividing The UK In A Similar Way To Brexit

  • Date: 27/11/19
  • Sky News

Combating climate change could be emerging as a new political fault line in the UK, a Sky Data survey has revealed.

* Over half of Remainers agreed it mattered a great deal as a policy priority
* Just over a quarter of Leave voters said they agreed
* 67% of Leave voters said prioritising tackling climate change mattered only a little or not at all

Some 58% of those who voted Labour at the last election said it mattered “a great deal” that the party they support makes tackling the issue a priority – compared to just 30% of their Conservative counterparts.

But it is not just a simple split between parties – it’s also split between Remain and Leave voters….

View from the North West

We went to the North West to see how voters feel about the increasing emphasis on climate change.

Rob Jones has already retrofitted his own house.

Adding insulation, triple glazing and even solar panels has saved him thousands on his bills, but he has doubts about plans to do the same to nearly every single home in the country.

He said: “This kind of national programme hasn’t really been seen since maybe the war.

“I don’t think any of the parties are particularly serious about how this is going to be accomplished.

“I can’t underestimate the amount of work that took place in this house, replicating that across tens of millions of households across Britain is a serious task.

“I’m not sure many of the parties are very honest with the public about the impact of that, or about the fact that there isn’t much of a choice, arguably.”

But there are other issues at play than just practicality.

Despite the spin from the parties, voters know that transformation on this scale almost certainly means sacrifice.

Teacher Faye Bye said: “We’re in a position where money seems to be needed in every area of our country: NHS; education; you name it.

“But I guess it’s something that we have to think about because without a world to live in safely, what future have we got anyway?

For others, in a part of the country that helped drive the industrial revolution, there’s also a lingering sense that tackling climate change is an unfair attack on a precious heritage.

Heavy goods vehicle driver Brian McDonald said his main priority was leaving Europe, and that he was irritated about how important the issue is becoming when there are much bigger polluters not playing by the same rules in other parts of the world.

He said: “Without Manchester in the 1860s/1870s, would the world be where it is now?

“Why should we be punished as our little nation for what’s happening now in the world, when you’ve got the likes of China, Russia?

“And they come to our country and say you can’t have a light bulb on for more than 10 minutes because it’s polluting the air.”

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