In 2021, the UK government unveiled a bold strategy to reduce emissions and decarbonise the economy by 2050. To achieve this goal, collective actions and behavioural changes are needed to ensure economic prosperity is matched by natural and ecological vibrancy. Local authorities and transportation providers will be instrumental in bringing the public on this journey towards sustainability.
To better understand public awareness, attitudes, and behaviours surrounding the national Net Zero Strategy, we conducted independent research with 2,000 members of the public. The responses revealed key insights, as well as confusion, about who’s responsible for the implementation of decarbonising measures, what support is available at local and national levels, and how communications are conducted across demographics.
As a snapshot:
- over 89% of the public believe achieving net zero is the central government’s responsibility, 57% attribute accountability to transport providers and 56% to local government
- 71% of respondents weren’t aware of their local council’s net zero targets
- 57% weren’t aware of their local council doing anything to reduce the area’s carbon footprint
The current void in public knowledge on how the vision for net zero by 2050 is being delivered brings the risk of an accountability vacuum. Local authorities and transport providers will need to raise their profiles and play a greater role in providing the information, inspiration and enablement necessary to drive change, especially given the financial challenges households are currently experiencing.