News release: Winchester residents call on local government to take action on climate change
The report that this press release is extracted from can be found here.
Figures collected by the environmental group Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) suggest that the vast majority of people in Winchester District are convinced that climate change is happening and that preventing global warming is down to national and local politicians as well as individuals.
WinACC conducted a random survey at the Winchester Hat Fair on Oram’s Arbour on Sunday 3rd July 2011. More than nine out of ten of the sixty-seven people answered the survey were convinced climate change was happening. They felt strongly that all members of society are responsible for taking action now to tackle climate change and that they should not leave future generations with the burden. They want the UK government to take a lead, and they want ordinary people, Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council to act too.
Bob Whitmarsh, coordinator of WinACC’s Science and Technology Advisory Panel (STAP) and the designer of the questionnaire says, “The results of this limited questionnaire are important. They emphatically suggest that Winchester District’s residents expect national politicians and local councillors to be doing more to tackle climate change. ”
It was disappointing that although 66% of respondents knew of the existence of targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions most did not know what these targets are or their target dates. This concurs with the fact that residents think that local councils need to do more to tell residents how they plan to achieve these targets.
Unsurprisingly, the survey confirmed that the most popular sources of information about climate change are TV and radio (74%), followed by newspapers (59%). This shows how important the media are in providing and correctly interpreting information that can be difficult to understand when coming from more specialist sources. Even so, electronic messaging of all sorts, environmental organisations and the views of friends play an important role.
Note for Editors on greenhouse gas emissions targets.
- The EU has set a target of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to 1990, by 2020 with a possible increase to 30% if other major emitting countries in the developed and developing worlds commit to do their fair share under a global climate agreement.
- The Climate Change Act 2008 set targets of at least an 80% reduction in the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, relative to 1990, by 2050 and a 34% reduction by 2020 and, in a more recent announcement, a second intermediate target of 50% by 2025.
- The Winchester District Strategic Partnership has set targets of 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2012 and a 30% reduction by 2015, both relative to 2007.
Note that the EU and UK government emissions are measured by criteria set out in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and 2001 Marrakesh Accords. These are incomplete and by and large ignore the very significant emissions associated with imports.