Over 40% of UK consumers say they would support actions to address climate change, even if they require tax increases, according to Deloitte’s new European Sustainable Consumer survey. Looking at countries across Europe, the research found that the UK’s support for action, regardless of tax increases, is second only to Spain (43%).

Income levels may also have an impact when it comes to consumers’ support for climate regulation. Over half (51%) of those earning £41,467 or more in the UK exhibit a stronger tendency to support climate-focused regulations, regardless of their potential impact on the affordability of goods and services. This is larger than the result for the higher income group when looking at Europe as a whole (46%), and considerably different to the result for those earning less than £20,077 in the UK (37%).

Those higher earning Europeans are likely to have their investment choices swayed by climate and sustainability factors, compared to consumers with lower incomes (38% vs 32%). In the UK, people are less likely to let these factors impact such decisions. Only 29% of those earning £41,467 or more said sustainability and climate would affect where they invest their money, and only 22% of those earning less than £20,077 agreed it would affect investment choices. 

Commenting on this, Deloitte UK sustainability and climate lead, Katherine Lampen, said: “It’s clear climate change is having an impact on the views of consumers across Europe, whether it’s about tax and policy decisions, regulation or how they invest their money. It’s particularly interesting to see that even while battling the highest tax burden since the 1940s, UK consumers would be willing to prioritise climate action, regardless of tax increases.

“No country is immune to the impacts of climate change and as consumers become more attuned to factoring it into financial decisions and views on policy, businesses in the UK and across Europe will need to follow suit in ensuring it is a firmly established factor in the products and services they provide.”

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