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One in five UK adults think net zero will never happen

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Households are losing faith with the UK’s chances of ever achieving net zero, a study reveals.

One in five think the nation will ultimately fail to realise the Government’s goal of reaching net zero – where a nation doesn’t add more climate-changing gases to the atmosphere than it takes out.

According to the British Gas index, which measures confidence in net zero being achieved, on average, people believe the net zero target will happen closer to 2075 then the current 2050 target.

The overall picture of its survey showed people’s confidence has dropped from a rating of 57.5 last year to 56.5, on a scale of 0-100. When asked which emotions people generally felt when reading about climate change, the three most-quoted emotions were ‘worried’ (45%), ‘frustrated’ (33%) and ‘helpless’ (26%).

Despite the lack of faith many have in net zero being achieved, families are still keen to adapt their homes to contribute to a greener society.

More than three quarters (78%) of those asked are willing to make changes to their property, while almost half of homeowners (47%) would install improved insulation in the next two years to tackle climate change.

Nation is willing to making changes, but is losing faith

The annual sense check from the energy supplier came before Rishi Sunak announced a softening of the Government’s key net zero policies. The PM delayed a ban of new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2030 to 2035, as well as dropping some of the expectations on landlords to improve the energy performance of rented homes.

Discussing the index results, Gail Parker, director of low carbon homes at British Gas Zero, said: “In a year that has been particularly difficult for households with the rising cost of living and inflation at a high, we’ve seen these issues reflected in our second Net Zero Homes Index. But we are also seeing that more people want to make changes to decarbonise their homes and its key that we work with Government and the rest of the industry to ensure households can make these changes easily and affordably.

“A big part of that is ensuring we find the right solutions that can lower emissions whilst helping our customers make savings on their bills. We’ve been taking learnings from our customers and this research to meet this challenge and are committed to training our workforce to take our customers on the journey to decarbonise their homes.

“This year we’ve reassured customers with a best price heat pump offering that’s guaranteed to heat your home as efficiently as a gas boiler and we launched a new suite of net zero services in solar, insulation, home energy efficiency and electric vehicle (EV) charging. We’re also helping our customers save with PeakSave offering half price electricity at greener off-peak times with Summer Sundays.”