Welsh Climate Change Concerns

Tuesday 05th Mar 2013 by theWeather Club

Image: NASA

A recent survey by the Climate Change Consortium Wales (C3W) highlights that the Welsh population have concerns about the risks of climate change and that the climate is already changing. The survey conducted by a team from Cardiff and Aberystwyth Universities shows that a clear majority (88%) of the Welsh public believe that the world's climate is changing. People are also more concerned about climate change and more likely to see their local area as vulnerable to its effects as compared to the last time these questions were asked in 2010.

The research is the first independent nationwide survey of public perceptions of climate change to be conducted in Wales for some years, and while the public back continued efforts to limit the causes of climate change there is also a widespread recognition that action is needed to deal with its consequences. With extreme weather events taking place in the UK and around the world last year, the flooding which hit many parts of Wales during 2012 appears to have played a part in making climate change a more pressing local concern for people. In particular, people who report being affected by flooding are more likely to see climate change as an immediate and important issue for them.

Professor Nick Pidgeon, from Cardiff University's School of Psychology, who lead the team which carried out the research, explained that 'Last year was a difficult time for many people in Wales, with serious flooding occurring in several areas of the country. While is not possible to pin the blame for any single event directly on climate change, we do know that in the future we can expect more of exactly this sort of disruption. It is encouraging to see that people in the survey are concerned about how climate change will affect both Wales and the wider world, and express support for a range of actions to address the challenges that this brings.'

The research was funded by the C3W and the Welsh Government, and was carried out by researchers from the School of Psychology at Cardiff University and the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, in conjunction with Opinion Research Services in Swansea. The study obtained a representative sample of 1,001 people across Wales in November and December 2012 and took the views of a further 100 people living in the area around Llandre in Ceredigion, which was badly hit by flooding last summer.