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Government Action Needed After Summer’s Heatwaves

This summer’s record-breaking temperatures were a watershed moment for Brit’s awareness of climate change – and three quarters want to see the government take more action.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 77 per cent believe the new government should do even more than their predecessors to protect the UK from global warming.

But 67 per cent also believe large UK retailers should work more closely together to overcome climate challenges.

Of these, 62 per cent believe more collaboration would have a better impact, while 53 per cent feel it would help develop a universal standard for others to follow.

But many also recognise their own accountability, as the heatwave caused 32 per cent to reflect on how their actions have been damaging to the environment.

However, when polled about which countries they think should be taking greater action on climate change, the UK ranked fifth – behind the likes of China, United States, India and Russia.

The research, which was commissioned by The John Lewis Partnership for the launch of its Nature Plan, highlights the importance of safeguarding our natural world to turn back the tide on climate change, as well as how it plans to protect and restore biodiversity across its retail operations.

Marija Rompani, director of ethics and sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We all know that we can’t exist without nature, it is essential for our survival and it will play a vital role in solving the problem of climate change. We can’t solve one without the other, the crises of nature loss and climate change are inextricably linked.”

“And yet, the UK currently languishes in the bottom 10 per cent of global countries for its abundance of nature. That’s unacceptable and given the tiny window in which we have to get this right, delaying action is simply not an option.”

Following the soaring heat this summer, the public has shown a willingness to adapt, with 30 per cent wanting to do more to reduce their own environmental footprint.

And for 31 per cent, it made them want to support brands which are doing their part to protect and restore the environment.

In fact, of the 58 per cent who are planning to replace some of the meat in their diet with more plant-based meals, 52 per cent are doing so because of the environmental benefits.

But while 36 per cent are doing so because it is more of an ethical choice, a third view it as an opportunity to cut costs from their food bills.

Interestingly, 57 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, feel it is important retailers responsibly source wherever in the world they get their products.

While 26 per cent think it’s important retailers responsibly source only in the UK.

Marija Rompani added: “This research shows the British public are considering their own actions and so are we – this is why we’re going back to our roots and focusing our efforts on protecting and restoring nature.”

“Whether it’s eliminating fossil fuel use across our transport operations, investing millions in conservation projects in regions where we source our products, collaborating with other retailers, or helping our farmers make the transition to net zero, we are acting where we can make the biggest impact.”