A new study by the YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research, however, suggests that when it comes to the climate, that battle is far from over.
The poll of 9,000 people on environmental attitudes in seven European countries identified opposition – of up to 50 per cent – to a ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles after 2030, despite widespread concerns about climate change.
And in Germany, where 70 per cent of participants expressed concern about climate change, 50 per cent opposed such a ban – the highest of the countries surveyed: Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Italy.
So while most are rightly worried about the plight of earth, the research indicates that the willingness to make sacrifices doesn’t quite match that concern.
However, sacrifices are what is needed, as shown by Sheffield Council, which is set to implement a Clean Air Zone from next year.
An effective way to sway public opinion is to make it in their interest for them to go green. If people cannot afford electric vehicles, and those that can are worried that a lack of charging points will leave them stranded, it’s little wonder they don’t favour a ban on polluting but convenient machines.
So when world leaders convene in the coming weeks for COP26 in Glasgow, they must reassure the public that real change can work for them.