From recycling to giving up meat: Poll reveals how far people will go to tackle climate change

People in Wales are supportive of recycling schemes to tackle climate change but less willing to take other action to help the environment, an exclusive ITV Cymru Wales poll reveals.

The poll shows 61% of people recycle everything they can, even if it means going out of their way to do so.

But other options available to tackle climate change, such as cutting out meat and dairy from our diets have less support.

Just 11% of people would stop eating meat and dairy products for the sake of the environment.

The Welsh Government have set a target to reduce agriculture emissions by 28% before 2030 Credit: PA

Limiting meat and dairy products to two or three times a week is the more favourable approach for Welsh people, but still less than half say they would be willing to do so.

Agriculture accounts for 12% of greenhouse gas emissions in Wales, with the Welsh Government setting a target to reduce emissions by 28% before 2030.

NFU Cymru says farmers in Wales produce red meat and dairy products to some of the highest welfare and environmental standards in the world.

"Our green farming systems act as carbon sinks and utilise the two things we have an abundance of here in Wales - grass and rainfall - to produce climate friendly food."

There was greater support for Wales to generate more renewable energy, with nearly two thirds of people happy to have an increased number of wind farms in their area.

Other poll results:

  • 45% of people would be willing to switch to an electric car

  • 27% of people would only buy second hand clothes

Despite a reluctance to make some changes, almost two thirds of people in Wales believe the worst effects of climate change could be avoided if drastic changes were made.

While just over half believe the individual can make an impact on tackling climate change, the majority think governments and companies have the greatest role to play.

85% said governments can make an impact and 86% said companies.

Global leaders will come together in Glasgow to discuss climate change Credit: pa

The poll comes as leaders from all over the world prepare to travel to Glasgow at the end of this month for the UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP26.

The conference, which was delayed by one year because of Covid, is the first major chance for the planet to take stock of global climate action to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of global heating.

But the poll found just 15% of people believe it will result in significant action to tackle climate change.

The conference was described as "the best hope for the world."

A COP26 spokesperson said: "The impacts of climate change can be seen around the world and if we don’t act now, we will continue to see the worst effects impact lives, livelihoods and natural habitats. COP26 is the last best hope for the world to come together and take action to tackle climate change.

"We are working hard to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C alive, and ensure the future of the planet is secured for generations to come."