Methodist poll shows Britons are reducing energy consumption

Published 06 December 2009  |  
|PIC1|A new poll by the Methodist Church has found that half of people in Britain have taken action to reduce their household energy consumption in the last year.

It found that 55 per cent of people had made changes to their living like switching to low energy bulbs or turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby, allowing them to save money and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.

Older people were more likely to cut their energy consumption than younger people, with 64 per cent of people over the age of 55 taking steps to reduce their energy consumption as opposed to 33 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Londoners were the least likely across the nation to reduce their energy consumption, with only 45 per cent making cuts in the last 12 months.

The survey found that 22 per cent of people had taken to buying more locally produced goods or food, boosting their local economies at the same time as cutting the greenhouse gas emissions caused by transporting produce over long distances.

Nineteen per cent said they had changed to driving less and cycling, walking or using public transport more often.

The Rev David Gamble, President of the Methodist Conference, said: “These results show that people are already doing things that cut their carbon footprint, whether they know it or not.

"Helping to save the planet can often also be a way to save money. People might feel powerless in the face of climate change, but there are things we can all do.”

The release of the poll comes as world leaders gather in Copenhagen for the start of a major UN summit on climate change on Monday.

Methodist policy adviser Steve Hucklesby said it was vitally important that developed countries take the lead on climate change and press for a binding agreement on carbon emissions cuts.

“Unless developed nations take action to transform their economies into low carbon economies then how are other nations meant to follow?” he said.

He was one of thousands to march through London on Saturday to put pressure on the Government to act on climate change.

The Methodist Central Hall in Westminster was filled to capacity with 3,000 Christians for an ecumenical service of worship and prayer for the climate led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster.

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