Green economy given thumbs up in new research

Paul Boughton

Three in four UK adults believe that renewable energy is the future for the planet and will be important to the global economy

The latest Attitudes to UK Industry report shows that UK adults believe that renewables are the environmental and economic future for the country, though a significant number urge caution about how well it can keep up with global competitors.

The survey, conducted by Populus and sponsored by technical communications company CadenceFisher, also found that most believe that teaching skills for industry should be prioritised over all others.

Further key findings in the survey, conducted among 2,008 adults included:

Three in four UK adults (76 per cent) believe that renewable energy is the future for the planet and will be important to the global economy of the future. They would like to see government initiatives to support the renewables industry including investment plans and tax breaks. This view is fairly evenly spread across all age ranges and between men and women.

However, more than one in four (29 per cent) say that the reality is that the UK will not be able to keep up and government support is better used in traditional industry such as automobiles.

Just one in five (20 per cent) is persuaded to a view that new ways of extracting and getting the best from fossil fuels and abundant natural gas will drive down the price of energy and the currently more expensive renewables will be pushed out of the market. There is also a gender divide on this issue with fewer women who were asked believing it that men by a ratio of one in six (16 per cent) to one in four, (24 per cent).

Nearly half (46 per cent) say they would like to see the government invest in a new generation of nuclear power; this figure is nearly two thirds of men (60 per cent) versus one in three women (32 per cent).

Two in three people surveyed (66 per cent) say that Britain should be leading the way on green manufacturing.

Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) skills should be given greater priority than any others in schools and colleges according to six in ten adults (61 per cent) but significantly, this comprises 69 per cent of men compared to 52 per cent of women. Younger people are less convinced that SET skills should be given greater priority than others with just under half (47 per cent) of 18-24 year olds agreeing with this strategy.

The full report and copies of previous studies is available at www.attitudestoukindustry.co.uk

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