Three quarters of the UK think we’re in a climate change emergency

The Eco Experts

Roughly three quarters (73%) of people in the UK believe we’re in a climate change emergency, according to our National Home Energy Survey. This opinion was echoed across all generations of the 2,134 people we spoke to.

After decades of increased fossil fuel consumption, climate change is now impacting people worldwide. In the past year alone, parts of Australia have seen record flooding, regions of Italy have seen winter droughts after minimal snowfall in the Alpes, and the UK has seen temperatures reach 40°C.

Scientists suggest these extreme weather conditions will continue (and get worse) if we don’t change our lifestyles – and people are rightfully worried.

But just how worried are the British public about climate change?

An image of white houses in a valley, next to green hills and under a blue sky

What’s on this page?

How many Brits think the world is experiencing a climate change emergency?

An infographic that states that 75% of people in the UK think we're in a climate change emergency

Overall, 73% of people in the UK think the world is experiencing a climate change emergency, with levels of concern varying slightly between ages.

Generally, the older the respondent was, the less likely they were to think we’re in a climate change emergency. But despite levels of worry decreasing with age, 67% of people aged 78 or older (the Silent Generation) still consider us to be in a climate emergency.

We similarly found that at least 71% of people across all income brackets believe we are in a climate change emergency.

This concern about climate change has been reflected in the rising number of people investing in renewable energy. In fact, the market size of the UK solar panel installation industry has grown by an average of 18.3% per year between 2018 and 2023 – a trend that has been encouraged by the cost of solar panels falling by about 80% in the past decade.

The bottom line? The majority of people in the UK believe we’re in a climate change emergency, no matter how old they are or how much money they earn.

How does this vary across the UK?

A map of the UK that outlines which regions believe we are in a climate change emergency more than others

More people from Greater London believe we are in a climate change emergency compared to any other region in the UK, with 81% of people agreeing with the statement. That’s eight percentage points above the national average.

On the flip side, Yorkshire and Humber were least likely to support the idea that we are in a climate change emergency, with only 67% of people agreeing with the statement – six percentage points below the national average.

How worried is the UK about climate change?

An infographic that outlines that 41% of the UK are very anxious or extremely anxious about climate change

Overall, 80% of people in the UK are worried about climate change.

There are more people worried about the impacts of climate change than there are people who think we’re experiencing a climate change emergency. So what’s the difference?

Well, being worried about climate change and thinking we’re in a climate change emergency are two different things; you can feel the former but not think the latter. This comparison suggests that some Brits don’t think climate change is as urgent as an ‘emergency’, but are still feeling anxious about it.

It’s also worth pointing out that almost half of Brits (41%) are ‘very anxious’ or ‘extremely anxious’ about climate change – over two fifths of the population.

And people are continuing to voice this widespread worry. Protests are popping up more frequently across the UK, with more people calling on the government to act urgently on climate change. This is the key reason why Extinction Rebellion is organising a rally in April, aiming to round up 100,000 people at the Houses of Parliament.

Whether protests are having a positive or negative effect towards the cause is still up for debate, with 50% of Brits saying they disagree with Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil’s protest tactics in our survey.

A quote box image that says: "At least 71% of people across all income brackets believe we are in a climate change emergency."

How does climate change anxiety vary across the UK?

An infographic that states that 53% of people in Wales are very or extremely anxious about climate change

Out of the whole of the UK, people from Wales are the most anxious about climate change, with 53% saying they’re either ‘very anxious’ or ‘extremely anxious’.

As for the least anxious region? Northern Ireland holds that title, with only 30% stating they’re either ‘very anxious’ or ‘extremely anxious’. To compare, the national average for regional worry is 41%.

Climate change anxiety by age bracket

It seems the UK is putting aside its generational differences on this topic, as climate change anxiety is spread pretty evenly across all ages.

Although there are some fluctuations, the percentage of people who are worried about climate change didn’t drop below 78% across any of the generations. 

Check out the results in the table below, which are broken down by generation.

The most notable finding? Despite having the fewest number of people feeling anxious about climate change compared to other generations, over three quarters of the Silent Generation still claim to be worried. 

While some of the respondents could be feeling this level of anxiety because of the future of the planet, others might feel this concern because of their grandchildren’s future.

How does this compare year-on-year?

The percentage of people worried about climate change has decreased from 84% in 2022 to 81% this year. Despite this drop, the number of people expressing concern still remains high.

A key reason behind this dip in climate change worry could be the cost of living crisis, which has been at the front of peoples’ minds throughout this year. And until energy prices go down again, some people are likely to move their climate change worry lower down their list of priorities.

There were also notable changes between generations when we compare year-on-year results. For example, 0% of the Silent Generation claimed to be ‘extremely anxious’ about climate change in our 2022 study. This year, however, 13% of people in this age bracket claim to be worried.

Explore the rest of our National Home Energy Survey 2023

See the results


The climate is changing – droughts, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events are becoming more frequent around the world. And people have started to notice, with about three quarters of Brits now believing we’re in a climate change emergency.

But with the rising cost of living at the forefront of peoples’ minds this year, climate change anxiety seems to have taken a slight step back in recent months.

Want to see how this year’s National Home Energy Survey compares to last year? Head to the 2022 National Home Energy Survey.

Written by:
Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.
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