Wigan shows willing to invest in greener future

Would you welcome change for a greener future?
Would you welcome change for a greener future?

A majority of Wiganers are prepared to make large lifestyle changes to ward off climate change and think it is important to teach it in schools.

A survey found 58 per cent of borough residents, slightly over the UK average, were prepared to make significant alterations such as eating less meat or using cars less to alleviate global warming.

Wiganers also want their children learning about it from an early age, with the majority saying pupils should learn about sustainability and preserving the environment and most borough residents saying these lessons should start when youngsters are aged from three to five. This is in contrast to better-off areas like the South East, where it was felt schools should wait until children were at least in year three to broach these issues.

The survey by Modular Classrooms heartens borough green activists who say the authorities must now recognise the extent of public support for building a greener future.

Wigan and Leigh Green Party spokesman Will Patterson said: “It’s exciting to see Wiganers looking to the future, thinking about the changes they can make in their everyday lives, and wanting our young people to learn about sustainability and maintaining the environment we all rely on, so we hope that businesses and government at every level can take this on board.

“We already have local businesses like The Coven offering an amazing meat-free menu, and nationally, it’s heartening to see the Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll capture so much attention, but other businesses can follow suit to offer more meat-free and sustainable options.

“This research also underlines that there’s more that can be done to reduce car usage: it’s why we keep calling for better local public transport, and for employers to offer more flexible remote working opportunities for their workers.”

Borough activists from campaign group Extinction Rebellion, which carries out non-violent direct action and is demanding councils and Government declare a climate emergency and commit immediately to radical moves to transition towards a zero-carbon society, also said the survey was encouraging but needed acting on.

A spokesperson said: “Individual actions are important but Extinction Rebellion emphasises that we need the support of our councils and government to make the big changes necessary.

“There are moves in the right direction but we need more and we need it faster.”