Most consumers want to take action on climate change, but believe it will cost them financially to do so.
That’s according to new research by Permanent TSB and Kantar.
It reveals that consumers want to see more financial incentives introduced, to help them transition to a more eco-friendly way of living.
In particular, the research highlights the need for increased supports for retrofitting homes and purchasing electric vehicles.
“Our research indicates many people need greater incentives to change their personal behaviour in support of wider moves to address climate change,” said Leontia Fannin, Head of Corporate Affairs at Permanent TSB.
While two-thirds of those surveyed feel it’s important to be seen to be environmentally aware, the same number think they are already doing all they can – and that any further changes are for others to make.
“This suggests there is still a significant challenge to persuade people of the role they can play at a personal level to address climate change – and for financial institutions and other service providers to help make it easier and more attractive for people to change their behaviours,” Ms Fannin said.
The research shows that just 6% of respondents think climate action is the biggest issue affecting them, with the cost of living, healthcare and housing seen as more important.
While 70% of those surveyed believe making sustainable choices will cost them financially, Behavioural Scientist Claire Cogan of BehaviourWise, who worked on the research, said that is not always the case.
Ms Cogan said small everyday changes, such as walking instead of using a car when possible, can help the environment, benefit your health and save you money.
“Our research reveals that despite high awareness and concern about climate change, when seen in the context of our day-to-day lives, climate change is competing with many other issues for our attention and not always winning,” said Ms Cogan.
“The priority now is to convince people to take action and that their efforts will make a difference, and then help them move from intention to action,” she added.
Just 23% of respondents said they believe it is a personal responsibility to address climate change, while 27% said it is mostly up to the Government and 16% said the onus is on the construction and manufacturing sectors.