given a straight choice between lower bills and green initiatives, the cost of living crisis took priority: 71 per cent said cutting energy costs should be the focus

Britons would overwhelmingly choose lower energy costs over climate-friendly policies if the two come into conflict, a poll for The National has found.

The findings came as ministers put environmental concerns to one side to restart fracking and expand North Sea oil and gas production in response to the energy crisis enveloping Europe.

The Deltapoll survey for The National also revealed considerable discontent about global climate change policies, especially among the young people at the vanguard of the green movement.

But given a straight choice between lower bills and green initiatives, the cost of living crisis took priority: 71 per cent said cutting energy costs should be the focus, while 22 per cent chose climate change.

The two aims do not have to clash. Saving energy and using it more efficiently can cut both bills and carbon emissions. Experts would like to see better insulation of homes to meet both goals. Britain has plans for a. huge expansion of offshore wind energy by 2050, which should also serve both ends.

Politicians such as Alok Sharma, the president of the Cop26 climate summit, have sought to persuade voters that they should blame wholesale energy prices for their rising fuel bills — and not the pursuit of net-zero policies.

“The energy crisis should be an opportunity to scale up the production of renewables to guarantee a long-term, sustainable supply,” said Joan Edwards, director of policy at British charity the Wildlife Trusts.

“In the long term, renewable energy production is better value for money, and has a critical role to play in helping us to reach net zero,” she said.

However, the new government under Prime Minister Liz Truss has made clear that it will not be squeamish about exploiting Britain’s oil and gas reserves. Several new blocks of the UK’s continental shelf are to be made available for drilling.

The preference for lower energy bills was felt across Britain. This was the case in Scotland, Wales and even younger, more left-leaning London, where cheaper energy was favoured by a margin of 57 per cent to 30 per cent.

The poll was conducted shortly after Ms Truss announced a two-year freeze in energy bills, although attention was soon diverted by the death of Queen Elizabeth II that day.

It came amid darkening economic clouds after inflation rose to a 40-year high and economists raised fears of a recession in Britain.

“People overwhelmingly felt the top priority of the UK government should be lowering energy costs as opposed to tackling climate change,” Deltapoll’s polling report said.

Ministers appear to agree. More than 100 new North Sea drilling licences are expected to be handed out to oil and gas companies in a drive for more domestic production, it was announced this month, over activists’ objections.

Deltapoll interviewed 2,096 adults in Britain between September 9 and 12.

Source: The National


of the public in support of the development of solar and wind farms

Labour Party has unveiled a plan on Twitter to turn the UK into a clean energy superpower by 2030 with plans to increase the generation capacity of technologies such as offshore wind and solar.

Labour claims this could save UK households a total of £93 billion over the rest of the decade. On average, this is the equivalent of saving £475 for each household every year.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, recently discussed his ambition to transform the UK into a green energy superpower allowing the general public to have access to cheap, green home-grown renewables and nuclear by the end of the decade.

“A central mission of my Labour government will be to turn the UK into a clean energy superpower,” Starmer said.

“Our plan for clean power by 2030 will save the British people £93 billion off their energy bills and break the UK’s vulnerability to Putin and his cronies. It will also drive higher growth and rising living standards.”

But how will this target be achieved? Announcing details of the plan to the Observer, the political party will quadruple offshore wind, triple solar and double onshore wind production by 2030. This could be crucial in weaning the UK off fossil fuel reliance – a major instigator of rising energy costs plaguing the UK.

The party have also said it would utilise nuclear energy to end the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels.

This would appeal significantly to the people of the UK with 77% of the public in support of the development of solar and wind farms to tackle the energy crisis, said Survation. 76% of people also are in support of building renewable energy projects in their local area.

Source: Current+

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