Video: Desiree Lopez explains how voters can be engaged by environmental policies

As we approach the General Election, the environment must be embedded in wider policies to ensure that voters are engaged, warns Desiree Lopez, managing director of research specialist TNS BMRB.

“When we asked the general public whether they are worried about the environmental issues they do say that they are,” said Lopez.

“But in relation to other key political issues like the economy or healthcare I think it is natural that environmental issues don’t necessarily make the top ten,:” he adds. “So the trick is to understand how we can make environmental issues become embedded in the other things that voters are concerned about such as finance.”

Major events such as last year’s Somerset flooding do tend to reignite people’s concerns about the environment, she added.

But the critical issue for policy makers is to embed these concerns into the issues that people are really worried about such as the immediate impact on household and communities.

“The disconnect is two fold – firstly in how voters actually see themselves in policies and second the lived experience – does government really understand their experience of how the policies affect their lives.”

Language is critical, she explained, if citizens are to be convinced that individual policies can actually impact their lives.

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