How do UK citizens perceive the co-benefits of climate action?

Topics: Energy and Low-Carbon Futures, Health
Type: Briefing paper
Publication date: October 2023



Access updated research on this topic from March 2024: What do the UK public think about the co-benefits that climate action can bring?

Authors: Dr Neil Jennings and Dr Pauline Paterson

Action to tackle climate change can bring a range of win-wins (co-benefits) that go beyond just reducing greenhouse gas emissions - climate action can make homes more affordable to heat, improve energy security, improve air quality and health, and reduce inequality.

The co-benefits of climate action resonate with the public because they touch on other key issues affecting people’s day-to-day lives, such as the cost-of-living crisis, health and housing, that directly link with reducing inequalities. They also provide opportunities for short-term, local benefits from actions that help to address the long-term, global challenge posed by climate change.

While there is a good understanding of the range of co-benefits that may result from climate action, there is currently a lack of evidence of how the public perceive such co-benefits. Understanding such perceptions can help guide efforts and resource and enable those communicating about climate action to tailor their messages more effectively to different audiences.

This research aims to fill some of this gap by drawing on evidence from a questionnaire survey with a representative sample of 1,156 members of the UK public (May 2022) and eight focus groups including participants from around the UK representing a range of demographics (Dec 2022-April 2023).

If you’d like to conduct your own survey on the co-benefits of climate action, you can download the survey used in this study here: Co-benefits questionnaire survey (Word doc)

 To learn more about how taking action on climate change can make all our lives better, watch our animation.