Four in five people around Liverpool believe action is needed to reduce carbon emissions

Burbo Bank wind farm in Liverpool Bay Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

More than four in five people in the Liverpool City Region believe action is needed to reduce carbon emissions, according to new research.

82% of people questioned agree that something needs to be done to lower the levels of CO2 discharged into the atmosphere, with 87% feeling that climate change is "definitely real."

However, the study for the area's combined authority, also found just over half of adults (52%) thought climate change was real but exaggerated.

Research shows most adults think climate change is real Credit: DAVE HUNT/AAP/PA Images

In 2019, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority became the first in the country to declare a Climate Emergency, committing to become net zero carbon by 2040 - 10 years ahead of the UK target.

It says "significant progress" is already being made following publication in March 2021 of its Year One Climate Action Plan, which outlined more than 80 immediate actions to tackle the Climate Emergency.

More than 1200 people, including children, took part in surveys and workshops to gauge public feeling about the drive to net zero - including their concerns and their understanding of possible benefits to their lives.

Researchers also spoke to more than 100 children and young people in the autumn for a video which revealed their hope and fears over climate change.

Now a new video has revealed the fears of dozens of adults over the climate emergency.

  • 87% of 253 adults asked in workshops, feel Climate change is definitely real

  • 82% of the 679 residents who responded when asked

  • 67%, of the 280 adults asked in workshops, felt we should follow the data to make the biggest changes in the fastest amount of time.

  • Of 275 adults asked in workshops, 52% thought 2040 was a suitable target for net zero while 21% thought the target should be reached sooner

However, not everyone feels they have the information they need to make the necessary changes or accepts the urgency and severity of the situation:

  • Just over half (52%) of 1,025 respondents in workshops and surveys felt they have good or very good knowledge about the actions needed to reduce carbon emissions.

  • More than half (52%) of 253 respondents in adult workshops thought Climate Change was real but exaggerated, although that figure drops to 20% for the 94 participants in youth workshops

  • 73% of adult workshop respondents felt there needs to be a balance between the environment, costs, and other things, although again that figure was markedly lower for young people at 35%

The research results follow the release of a plan which reveals how energy use must be halved in less than 20 years for the city region to reach its target to be net zero carbon by 2040 or sooner.

It says the target is achievable with rapid, collective action and stresses the need to create a fair future with help for vulnerable people and those less able to afford the switch to zero carbon.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, "A large majority of people, and particularly young people, understand that we are in a race against time to save our planet from the threat of climate change.

"It will not happen overnight and will not be easy, but we all have to play our part."

The plan highlights the need to change from fossil fuels including natural gas, diesel and petrol - which provide 75% of LCR’s energy - to renewable sources such as low carbon electricity and hydrogen.

It says the drop in carbon emissions needs to be greatest in the next five years.

Work already underway to tackle the climate emergency has ranged from support for grassroots organisations through to a £500,000 Community Environment Fund to help cut transport emissions through low and zero-carbon public transport and a 600km walking and cycling network.

The Silver Jubilee Bridge between Runcorn and Widnes now includes dedicated bike lanes for cyclists Credit: The Irish Image Collection/Zuma Press/PA Images

In the longer term huge, transformational clean energy schemes including plans to triple the size of wind power generation in Liverpool Bay and the Mersey Tidal Project are being developed alongside carbon capture and hydrogen production technology.

Cllr David Baines, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Climate Emergency and Renewable Energy, said, "Our Pathway to Net Zero report sets out the scale of the challenge ahead but also shows it can be done - and highlights the many benefits of getting it right.

"The huge investment we need to make this happen will create jobs in new technologies and as a city region we are perfectly placed to lead the way in a Green Industrial Revolution."

The report makes clear the investment required to deliver net zero is significant but warns the longer people wait to make changes, the greater the cost in terms of money and wellbeing.