Majority Think Foreign Energy Dependency Threat to National Security
London, UK 21st March 2006 - In an international poll on attitudes to energy security and the environment, 61% of British respondents agreed that dependency on foreign energy supplies threatens national security.
When asked who they most trusted to solve the issues of energy security, more UK respondents rated Conservative party leader David Cameron (33%) than Prime Minister Tony Blair (31%), with the potential future prime minister Chancellor Gordon Brown and new Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell trailing at 23% and 13% respectively.
The online survey, conducted by market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), asked 9,000 people in nine countries about their opinions on energy and environmental issues in the run up to International Earth Day on April 22nd. The polling of 1,000 UK respondents was completed at the end of February 2006.
The Conservative leader appears to be benefiting from recent news about winter fuel rises and mounting evidence of global warming, as well as his own proactive efforts to reposition the party on green issues. When asked who they regard as the most environmental politician, David Cameron (32%) came ahead of Tony Blair (30%), followed by Sir Menzies Campbell (20%) and Gordon Brown (17%).
Younger respondents (18-29 year olds) are more likely to regard Blair (33%) as the greener politician than Cameron (27%). With the older group of 45-64 year olds, this is reversed - Blair (26%) and Cameron (36%). On the energy national security question, there is a similar difference with Blair being more trusted by younger (38%) than older respondents (26%) while the reverse is true for Cameron – 27% of younger respondents compared to 38% of older respondents. Among respondents aged 30 to 44, there is little difference between the two leaders.
The survey suggests UK respondents are realistic about the need to take serious measures today to preserve the environment for the future. When asked whether they agreed that low prices and more jobs today are more important than protecting the environment for the future, a majority (62%) said no – a stronger response than the USA (49%), France (41%) or Germany (37%).
79% of UK respondents also said there is a connection between the quality of their life and the state of the environment. However, this is among the lowest percentages of the nine countries surveyed. Countries often associated with the most serious environmental problems are those where belief in the connection is strongest – Brazil (96%), Russia (90%) and China (96%).
Looking at the specifics of how the UK should reduce its dependency on energy sources, the survey reveals a general opinion (78%) that tax incentives for businesses to adopt energy efficient processes would be effective, whilst 61% of respondents also said it would be very efficient to invest in alternative energy sources. Of these, wind (33%) and solar (32%) are seen as the most viable alternatives in the next five years. But, tidal power, for which the UK is widely regarded as the nation most strongly placed to harness as a new energy source, is only regarded as viable by 9% of respondents.
Commenting on the findings, Dietmar Walter, managing director, Europe for GMI said: “Real concerns about environment and energy policy are going up the political agenda by leaps and bounds. Our poll confirms how serious the general public regard these issues and in the case of the UK, a real fear about insecurity of national energy supplies”.
A sample of 1,000 respondents was polled in each of the following countries - the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Russia, the UK, France and Germany - from February 9 to 21, 2006.
GMIPoll quickly and accurately gathers international opinions about topical issues and critical global events, with real-time results available in as little as 24 hours. GMIPoll is the only survey that polls global opinions in real time, on-line, and with statistically accurate results. More information on GMIPoll is available at http://worldpoll.com.
GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) is the only company that provides comprehensive integrated solutions for global market intelligence for both market research firms and corporate market research departments at Global 2000 companies. Solutions include Net-MR, a suite of software tools to manage and automate research throughout the project lifecycle, desktop analysis tools, 24/7 service bureau capabilities, and one of the world’s largest, highly profiled, double opt-in managed panels, spanning across 200 countries. In addition, GMI offers high-value, real-time enterprise feedback solutions for customer, partner and employee programs. Founded in 1999 with world headquarters in Seattle, Wash., GMI has operations on five continents. More information is available at www.gmi-mr.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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