Most adults aware of climate change causes – but less knowledgeable about how to combat it

Most adults aware of climate change causes – but less knowledgeable about how to combat it

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For example, seven in ten know that trees can absorb carbon, but 62 percent were unaware that peat bogs have the potential to store twice as much carbon as forests.

More than six in ten (65 percent) didn’t realise that the humble wildflower meadow is a climate superhero, with over 100 species of flower that can help to improve biodiversity.

A similar number (58 percent) were unaware that kelp forests can help protect against climate change by cushioning shorelines against the effects of storm surges and rising sea levels.

And a third didn’t realise the UK is home to its own “green technology” such as seagrass meadows, which can capture carbon 35 times faster than rainforests.

Only 56 percent of those polled knew about such carbon-capture technology, and just 52 percent felt it was a potential solution to climate change.

The research was commissioned by Sky Zero and WWF as part of the “Force for Nature” campaign to highlight the power of the UK’s natural habitats in the battle against climate change.

Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said: “The UK’s natural habitats are a key ally in the fight against climate change, yet they are being depleted at an alarming rate. 

All UK governments must keep their climate promises while we still have a chance to turn things around

Tanya Steele, WWF Chief Executive

“From wildflower meadows to peat bogs and kelp forests to seagrass, we must protect these vital assets and secure their future – for our own sake.

“All UK governments must keep their climate promises while we still have a chance to turn things around. 

“We all have a role to play and becoming a “Force for Nature” and helping us plant more carbon-capturing seagrass seeds is one of the ways people can show their support.”

The study also found that those polled believe the burning of fossil fuels is the single biggest contributor to climate change (53 percent), closely followed by deforestation (52 percent).

But more than half of adults (55 percent) don’t know what seagrass is, and 64 percent don’t know soil can absorb carbon – with grasslands locking in up to a fifth of all soil carbon in the UK.

When it comes to UK nature, 80 percent of adults do not realise the UK is one of the most nature depleted nations in the world.

While nine in ten adults were unaware that over the last 50 years, more than 40 percent of UK species have declined, something that has in turn had an impact on the country’s ability to protect itself against climate change.

As a result, 86 percent believe more education is needed on how nature can help in the fight against climate change.

In addition, the study carried out through OnePoll found three-quarters of adults (76 percent) want to do more to help reduce climate change.

Jeremy Darroch, executive chairman at Sky and WWF-UK Ambassador, said: “We’re beginning to understand just how at risk our cherished UK landscapes are, from a variety of factors including deforestation, urbanisation and a lack of protection.

“However, what is less known is just how powerful these natural habitats can be in the fight against climate change, providing we can restore and protect them.

“We’re asking people to become a #ForceForNature; to call on UK governments to keep their climate promises and in turn restore seagrass, a carbon-capturing technology that nature itself has provided for us.”

For every 1,000 Force For Nature sign ups, Sky Zero and WWF will plant 4,000 seagrass seeds, up to one million, to showcase the public support for protecting and restoring nature and championing “green technology” that can help save the planet from climate disaster. 

You can sign up here.

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