Poll: Growing Doubts Over Climate Change Causes

Poll: Growing Doubts Over Climate Change Causes

The finding comes on the eve of the UN summit in Paris that is expected to result in big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

09:35, UK, Sunday 29 November 2015

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The British public is increasingly sceptical that human activity is to blame for climate change, a poll for Sky News suggests.

Almost one in five people believes that natural processes rather than man-made carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming, according to the survey by Sky Data.

In a similar poll by YouGov two years ago, just one in 14 people said humans were not responsible for the problem.

The Sky News poll comes on the eve of United Nations summit in Paris that is likely to result in big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Prime Minister David Cameron will be among almost 150 world leaders attending the talks.

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The survey suggests he could struggle to sell a climate deal if it increases household bills.

It shows 54% of the public oppose green taxes on petrol, electricity and imported food.

Just over a third would back extra taxes on products with a high carbon footprint.

The UN wants world leaders to agree a deal that would limit the rise in average global temperature to 2C, regarded by the overwhelming majority of scientists as the danger point for the world's climate.

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That would mean cutting worldwide emissions by 40-70% by 2050 and 100% by the end of the century.

Christiana Figueres, who is leading the UN's negotiations, told Sky News: "l see more and more political will because every country is realising they are impacted.

"There is not a single country that has not felt the negative impact of climate change. That's why there is attention now to the opportunities in reducing emissions."

2015 is on course for being the warmest year on record. The current average global temperature is around 15C, 1C warmer than before the industrial revolution.

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Over the same time period carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen from 280 parts per million to 400ppm.

Dr Paul Williams of Reading University said the warming atmosphere is already increasing the chances of floods, heatwaves and storms in Britain - and the problems will only get worse if emissions continue to rise.

"There is a time lag in the climate system," he said.

"We are storing up problems that we haven't yet seen because the climate system takes decades to respond to the carbon dioxide.

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"So even if we cut emissions dramatically today there are big problems stored up for future. This is why we need to take urgent

Brophy Monday 30 November 2015 - 12:54 am | | Brophy Blog, Global Warming

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