The results of a climate change survey commissioned by the Department of the Environment, published today show that of those persons in Northern Ireland who believe in climate change, 50% are concerned about the effects of climate change.
This represents a fall from the last survey conducted in 2009; which showed that 57% of those who believe in climate change were concerned about its effects. It is also lower than the 65% recorded as being concerned in a similar UK study in 2012.
Sixty-one per cent of respondents believe that a combination of human activity and natural processes is to blame for climate change, with only 3% saying that climate change did not exist. Fewer people now think that human activity on its own is the main cause of climate change, falling from 22% in 2009 to 17%. In 2012, more than half of the respondents (57%) believe that making changes to their lifestyle will help to reduce climate change, and three-quarters of respondents are prepared to make changes to their lifestyle.
Other key points included:
•Fifteen per cent of respondents felt that natural processes alone was the main cause of climate change.
•More than a third of respondents (36%) agreed that changes to the climate had a direct impact on them.
•The main concerns for people include; increased energy costs, an increase in the number of severe weather events, increased flooding, damage to natural environment and wildlife, a more polluted atmosphere, and increased food costs.
•The most common actions that respondents have taken to combat climate change include; recycling as much as possible; switching off lights and having low energy light bulbs installed in their homes.
•Since 2009, there have been notable improvements in the number of respondents installing loft insulation; turning down their heating; growing some of their own food and making fewer car journeys to help combat climate change.