Public opposed to George Osborne's anti-green stance

A clear majority of the public support the central tenets of a greener economy and want to see the UK rapidly accelerate investment in renewable energy, according to a major new YouGov poll revealing Chancellor George Osborne's attacks on the green economy are unlikely to impress voters.

The poll found that 54 per cent of the public agree "we can save the planet and the economy both at the same time by investing in green technologies", compared to only 29 per cent of the public who think environmental protection is unaffordable in tough economic times.

In a boost to the renewables industry, 57 per cent of the public and 53 per cent of Tory voters said the UK should commit to generating most of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 with just a tenth of respondents opposing the idea. The findings echo a series of recent surveys that have consistently shown around 60 per cent of the public support increased investment in renewable energy and favour renewables over fossil fuels.

The latest poll confirms Osborne is at odds with the majority of the public.

The poll, which was commissioned by the Fabian Society and WWF, will provide further ammunition for those green-minded Conservative MPs who have been arguing that the right of the party's recent attacks on green policies will make it harder to attract the swing voters the Conservatives need to secure a majority at the next election.

"The next election will be a fight for voters who want Britain to lead the world in creating a low carbon economy," said Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK. "Any party that wants to form the next government should remember this."