0% Read

Does climate activism work?

Chris Holbrook Find Out Now Market Research

Chris Holbrook

23rd Oct, 2023 | 6 mins read

Find Out Now was commissioned by the creative agency Don’t Cry Wolf to delve into people’s attitudes on climate acitivitism. We polled 1,615 GB adults in a nationally represenative sample.

Key Points

  • 41% believe climate activism overlook the working class.
  • 31% find environmental activist communications aggressive Vs. 7% who see them as clear.
  • Among 18-24-year-olds, 21% perceive climate activist communications as aggressive Vs. 42% of those aged 65+ share this view.
  • A promising 32% are open to lifestyle changes for climate action, with 24% from DE socio-economic groups indicating their willingness.

Key Analysis

To what extent do you agree with this statement? The environmental activism movement ignores the working class.

Totally agree: 20%
Somewhat agree: 21%
Neither agree nor disagree: 43%
Somewhat disagree: 9%
Totally disagree: 7%

41% of respondents believe that the climate activism movement often overlooks the working class. This perception points to a pressing issue within the movement, highlighting a struggle to convey its values and objectives effectively without alienating the working class. By closing these communication gaps, the climate movement can become more unified and effective in the fight against climate change.

The Challenge of Aggressive Communications in Environmental Activism

Which words best describe the communications from the environmental activism movement? Pick as many as you like.


Other options included confused, uplifting, and patronising.  Full results here.

31% of respondents find communications from environmental activists to be aggressive, while only 7% perceive them as clear and accessible. This emphasises the critical need for environmental activists to refine their messaging strategies.

Generational Perspectives on Climate Activism

While 21% of respondents aged 18-24 feel that climate activist communications are aggressive, a striking 42% of those aged 65 and older share the same view. Younger generations are notably more receptive to climate messaging than their older counterparts.

Willingness to Embrace Change for Climate Action

Which of the following statements best describes your position on tackling climate change? (Pick one)

Climate change is natural and not influenced by human beingsI am concerned by climate change but have other pressures on my life to take actionI am prepared to sacrifice certain lifestyle choices to help tackle climate changeI am prepared to completely change my life to tackle climate changeClimate change should be tackled by big business and government, not by individualsNone of the above

A significant 32% of respondents express their willingness to make lifestyle changes to combat climate change. This includes 24% of individuals in DE socio-economic groups also demonstrate a readiness to contribute to environmental protection efforts. Our data suggests that the primary challenge lies in the effectiveness of the climate movement’s messaging and outreach, rather than in people’s inherent willingness to contribute to environmental preservation.

About The Survey

Find Out Now interviewed 2,331 GB adults from 2023-09-20 to 2023-09-21, and produced a sample of 1,615 respondents which is nationally representative by: Gender, Age, Social Class, Region, Brexit Vote, and 2019 General Election.

Find Out Now are members of the British Polling Council and Market Research Society and abide by their rules.

For further information, or to request a poll or survey, contact us on ask@findoutnow.co.uk.

Photo by Melissa Bradley on Unsplash