Londoners' views on climate change in 2021

Our polling, now in its second year, shows that Londoners remain worried about the effects of climate change and the severe impact it has on communities.

While concern is increasing, it isn’t leading to despair. Londoners clearly support ambitious action to reduce carbon emissions and want to be part of that change.

Top findings from polling by London Councils in October 2021 show:

  • The majority (82%) of Londoners are concerned about climate change
  • More than half (66%) of Londoners say their level of concern about climate change has increased in the last 12 months
  • Most Londoners (87%) are motivated to help prevent climate change
  • The number of people who say their day-to-day decisions are influenced by climate change has increased from 59% to 61% over the last 12 months

The survey has also highlighted anxiety over the financial cost of helping to prevent climate change, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Half of Londoners (50%) agreed that Covid-19 has made it financially more difficult to take action to help prevent climate change. A higher proportion of ethnic minority people (61%) than White people (47%) agreed with this statement, reflecting the disproportionate impact of the pandemic.

It is vital Londoners from all backgrounds are able to make greener choices if we are to make a just transition to a low-carbon society, no matter what their financial circumstances. London boroughs are calling on government for more funding in our key priorities for this year’s Spending Review. This includes starting to deliver the £98 billion of investment needed to retrofit all London homes to make them more energy efficient and delivering the £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and £2.5 billion Home Upgrade Grant. 

Financial incentives to encourage private retrofitting must be provided, The polling shows that expense is a barrier which prohibits respondents from choosing greener energy or heating options. Over a third (37%) said it was too expensive to pay more for a greener heating option, and 29% said it was too expensive to replace gas heating with a lower carbon option, while 16% said they wouldn’t understand how to do this.

Is it vital that we work in partnership to transform London into a city that is greener, more equal, healthy and sustainable for all of London’s diverse communities. London boroughs work with our communities and partners to inform and collaborate on green projects. We support people who wish to make greener choices but we need more engagement and financial assurances from Government if all our local communities are to make the transition to a low-carbon lifestyle.


Download the full report (PDF)

Download the highlights of our 2021 polling (PDF)

Read our press release about the 2021 polling

1. This study was conducted in London via LondonBus, an Internet omnibus survey run by Research Express which is part of Kantar UK Ltd.

SAMPLE SIZE – a sample of 1,011 London adults 16+ were interviewed.

INTERVIEWING – Interviewing was conducted by online self-completion from 2nd to 7th September 2021.

WEIGHTING – The sample has been weighted to represent the adult population of London 16+.

LOW BASES – Where unweighted base figures are less than 100, data should be treated cautiously, as large margins of error are possible.