Results of latest Harrogate climate change survey shows support for green action

Organisers of the latest survey on Harrogate’s attitudes to climate change are hailing the results as proof people are happy to make changes to their lifestyle to cut carbon emissions.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 3:15 pm
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 3:16 pm
Pictured with Kirsty Hallett of Harrogate Climate Change Coalition (middle) from left Coun Paul Haslam, Coun Phil Ireland and Nicola Bareham. (Picture Gerard Binks)

Launched earlier this year online by Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition jointly with Harrogate Borough Council, more than 800 people responded to the Climate Change Survey.

The key findings, which come in the same week new data predicted there will be more than 120,000 electric vehicles on Harrogate’s roads by 2050, bolsters efforts by this joint group of businesses, public sector organisations and voluntary groups in the build-up to holding the town’s first-ever Climate Action Festival in October.

Kirsty Hallett, Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition’s chair of communications, said: “The findings from this research are very encouraging, suggesting that residents in the Harrogate district are both concerned and engaged by the threat of climate change and willing to be part of a collective effort to reduce carbon emissions.”

Among the most striking results of the Climate Change Survey were figures showing 84% of residents think we need to take action immediately to tackle climate change while 46% strongly agree climate change will have a direct impact on their life.

But HDCCC also admits the survey reveals a knowledge gap at the moment about what action we all should be taking.

While 56% say they would consider installing renewable sources of energy such as solar panels or ground/air source heat pumps, less than 10% were planning to do so in the next 12 months.

Kirsty Hallett said: “It is clear from the survey results that many people want to take action which will limit climate change in their homes and workplaces but they do not always know what to do for the best.

“We are planning a Climate Action Festival for October 2021 that will offer practical solutions to reduce carbon emissions from energy, transport and land use.”

Myfanwy Wolf, chair of the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition Energy Sub-group, added: “The survey shows many of our local businesses do not yet know their carbon footprint or how they can access support to reduce this.

“But our coalition sub-groups will be providing pointers via the Climate Action Festival and online at our website.”

Professional market research consultant Patrick Corr, who offered his expertise pro bono as a volunteer to HDCCC, said the most important thing was the survey showed the town was not out of step with general efforts to cutting carbon emissions as a matter of urgency.

He said: “The fact 84% of residents think we need to take action immediately to tackle climate change shows views in Harrogate are similar to those across the UK.”

Set up in 2019, in response to Harrogate Borough Council’s vision that by “2038 we will have a net-zero carbon economy”, HDCCC has been criticised by some in the past for talking rather than acting.

But Harrogate Borough Council, which launched the survey jointly with HDCCC, says it is already starting to act on the key findings from the survey.

For more information, [email protected] or visit www.hdccc.info

RESULTS: Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition’s Climate Change Survey

84 % of residents think that we need to take action immediately to tackle climate change;

46% strongly agree climate change will have a direct impact on their life;

52 % are more concerned than they were 12 months ago;

56% say they would consider installing renewable sources of energy such as solar panels or ground/air source heat pumps;

However, less than 10% were planning to do so in the next 12 months.

The four most frequently identified things people said they are already doing in terms of making changes to their home energy use as a response to climate change:

Switch off lights 93 %;

Install low energy LED lights 87%;

Turn the radiator thermostat down 73%;

Switch to a renewable energy provider 55%;

Upgrade insulation in the home 50 %.

Who is involved with Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition?

Current active board and sub-group members represent the following organisations: CNG Ltd, Energy Oasis, Goosemoor Organics, Harrogate District Cycle Action, Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA), Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate College, Harrogate District Hospital, Highways England, Nidderdale AONB, North Yorkshire County Council, Techbuyer Ltd, University of Leeds, White Rose Forest, Woodmeadow Trust, Yorkshire Energy Systems, Zero Carbon Harrogate

For more information, go to: www.hdccc.info/

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