Six in ten Brits oppose climate change protesters blocking the M25

Jemma ConnerSenior Research Executive
September 17, 2021, 2:29 PM UTC

A majority of the public say this action hinders the climate change cause

This week climate change protesters have brought key sections of the M25 to a halt by blocking major junctions, including those to Heathrow Terminal 4 and Lakeside shopping centre in Essex. The protesters are aiming to bring attention to the issue of climate change, specifically campaigning for more investment in making homes energy efficient.

New YouGov polling shows that four in ten Britons have heard “a great deal” or “a fair amount” about the protests (42%), with Londoners and Southerners most likely to be aware (48% and 47%, respectively).

Nevertheless, most Britons have heard little (33%) to nothing (21%) about the demonstrations.

There is, however, limited support for the protests. Six in ten adults (59%) oppose the protesters' actions, with just a quarter of adults (25%) backing them. While many are unaware of the protests, those who have heard much about them are even more negative: opposition to the action grows to 70% amongst Brits who had heard a great deal or fair amount about the protests.

Support does, however, rise to 49% amongst adults who listed pollution, the environment and climate change as one of their top three most important issues facing the country (higher than the 39% of this group who are opposed).

A majority of Brits (64%) also feel that this kind of action actually hinders the cause of the wider climate change movement. Older adults hold this view particularly strongly, with 73% saying this action is damaging to public perceptions of the climate change movement. Just 15% think this sort of behaviour endears the cause to the public.

While those who rank the environment highly as an important issue tend to be more supportive of the protests, they do not think it is helpful for the environmentalist cause overall. By 55% to 16%, this group feel that this kind of action hinders garnering public support for the fight against climate change.

Photo: Insulate Britain

See the full results here