Written by Josh Jackman Updated on 16 March 2023 50% of Brits disagree with Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil’s protest tactics, according to our annual National Home Energy Survey.Our survey of 2,134 people showed disapproval was the most likely reaction to these groups’ actions, no matter the age, income, or location of the respondent.Many respondents condemned the activists for disrupting the public rather than the government or fossil fuel companies that they’re ultimately targeting. What’s on this page? 01 How many Brits agree with the protest tactics of Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil? 02 How are the Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil protests affecting the public? 03 What alternative tactics do the public think would work? 04 Summary How many Brits agree with the protest tactics of Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil? 50% of people don’t agree with the protest tactics used by Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil, with just 16% agreeing with their tactics.Their tactics include blocking motorway routes, disrupting the BAFTAs, football matches, and the British Grand Prix, and throwing soup at the glass protecting a Vincent van Gogh painting.The protests elicited disapproval from all age groups, income brackets, and regions of the UK, as well as many people who agreed that we’re in a climate emergency.63% of the people who disagree with these tactics also think we’re in a climate change emergency, showing how the groups managed to also provoke disapproval from many who would likely agree with their overall aims.However, the protests did at least leave a mark on the public’s consciousness – only 21% of people haven’t heard of them. We asked Insulate Britain if the group thought its protests had been successful. A spokesperson said: “Since our supporters stopped traffic on the M25 and other motorways in 2021 both the government and the opposition have pledged to ‘Insulate Britain.’“Nonviolent civil resistance works and is the best method that we, the public, have in forcing legislative change from government.“A year on from our campaign on the roads, our supporters are now facing charges of Causing a Public Nuisance across multiple Crown Court trials where, despite a court gagging order banning us from explaining our motivations and from mentioning fuel poverty, climate change or insulation as a defence, juries are finding our supporters not guilty because they get it.”We’ve also approached Just Stop Oil for comment.How does this change based on age? Younger people are more likely to agree with Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil’s protest tactics, while older generations are overwhelmingly disapproving.25% of Gen Z (born 1997-2013) approve of the tactics, compared to 29% who disapprove – and this gap between support and opposition only widens as you move up the age scale.21% of Millennials (born 1981-1996) support the protests’ tactics while 36% disapprove, and 15% of Gen X (born 1965-1980) are in favour, compared to 55% who aren’t.11% of Boomers (born 1946-1964) support the tactics and 61% don’t, while just 7% of the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945) approve, and an overwhelming 68% disapprove.Younger age groups were also more likely to be unaware of the protests. 28% of Gen Z and Millennials hadn’t heard of them, compared to 17% of the other, older generations.This gap perhaps shows how these protests largely affected locations that are mainly occupied by people older than 41, such as motorways, football matches, and the British Grand Prix.How does this change based on region? The most disapproving region is the south-east of England, where 62% of people disagree with the tactics used by Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil.This makes sense, as the majority of protests affected this area of the country, as commuters struggled to get to or from work because of blocked motorways.However, it’s notable that the region most affected – Greater London – provides the second-highest level of support, with 23% people agreeing with these groups’ tactics.Insulate Britain repeatedly blocked traffic on London’s M25, while Just Stop Oil disrupted the BAFTAs at the Royal Albert Hall and football matches at Arsenal and Tottenham’s stadiums.The protests also received overwhelming disapproval from the east of England (57%), East Midlands (55%), and West Midlands (52%).The activist groups had the hardest time reaching people in the north-east, Scotland, and Wales respectively, where an average of 29% of respondents hadn’t heard of the groups.However, Wales is also where the highest proportion of people are in favour of the groups’ actions, at 24%. How are the Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil protests affecting the public?Our survey’s results are clear: the public doesn’t like these groups’ protest tactics.One respondent explained: “I disagree with Insulate Britain’s tactics as the disturbance it causes can lead to serious trouble as well as being a general nuisance.“I understand they want to be heard but blocking roads whilst getting them heard will only portray them in a negative light and would even make me less likely to side with them after seeing that’s how they protest.”Another said: “We can all understand why the protesters feel they have to take the actions they do, because if they didn’t take such radical action, no-one would take much notice of what is the world’s biggest problem just now.”But they added: “Blocking roads with ambulances taking critically ill people to hospital, NHS workers getting to work, etc., will simply not help their cause.”Another person voiced a common sentiment, saying: “Whether or not Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil went about it in the right way, I’m not sure.“But I do know I would never have had a conversation with anyone about either of them if it wasn’t for their ability to make noise.”Did the protests succeed or fail?In February 2022, Insulate Britain released a statement with the headline “We must acknowledge we have failed,” based on the lack of government response.However, in November 2022, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced £6 billion in new funding to insulate the UK’s homes.While this was too late to help anyone suffering from the current energy crisis, it was a massive – and welcome – commitment.And though our survey shows that a clear majority of people disagree with the groups’ tactics, public opinion has moved to favour insulation – even at significant personal cost.In July 2022, YouGov asked people whether they’d be “willing to personally cover the costs to make your home more energy-efficient,” with insulation included as a prominent example.The results showed a dead-heat: 29% would be willing, and 29% wouldn’t.Three months later, in October, 36% would be willing, and 24% wouldn’t – a swing of 12 percentage points that showed voters of all three major political parties were prepared to cover the costs.Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation, and the worsening energy and cost of living crises may have played a bigger part in convincing people to support insulation. What alternative tactics do the public think would work?In general, the public would prefer to not be directly affected by climate protests.They’d rather activists targeted the government or oil and gas companies, not the everyday activities of regular people.One respondent told us: “I think throwing paint at government buildings was a good way to make a point and was more targeted.”Just Stop Oil protesters have sprayed paint on buildings including the Home Office, MI5 building, Bank of England, and UK government’s Edinburgh offices.Another person said: “I think the organisers of both movements should strive to be more cohesive and plan large-scale, mass protests that are better targeted at those who are to blame.”They gave the example of blocking private jets at airports. Explore the rest of our National Home Energy Survey 2023 See the results SummaryThe public is aware of climate change and worried about it, with 81% saying they have some level of climate change anxiety – but understandably, they don’t want protests which fight climate change to disrupt their lives.Just 16% of the public support Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil’s tactics, but respondents repeatedly told us they’d support a different kind of climate change protest.The unanswerable question is whether the kind of tactics they support would have had an equally large impact on the public’s consciousness – and whether it’s ever possible to spread awareness and cultivate support without being disruptive.To see how these results compare with last year’s survey, check out our National Home Energy Survey 2022. Written by: Josh Jackman Lead Writer Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.