A STUDY by academics at Oxford Brookes University shows that more than 60 per cent of us want the environment to be made a priority after the coronavirus crisis has lifted.

The Headington university worked with Amsterdam University on the study. Using YouGov data commissioned by Extinction Rebellion, they found 62 per cent of UK adults are positive towards the environment being at the heart of economic recovery.

They found a similar figure among Conservative voters and said people were more negative to the suggestion that economic damage meant prioritising the environment was unaffordable.

Their study found that opinion on the matter is unrelated to social class, indicating that environmental concerns are not just a middle-class concern.

Dr Ben Kenward, senior lecturer in Psychology at Oxford Brookes, said: “The headline result of this study is not only that 62 per cent of the UK population are positive about seeing the environment at the heart of post-Covid economic recovery, but also that this number is the same when focusing on Conservative voters.

“What’s most striking about these results, is that people’s social grade – whether they are, say, senior managers or have low status manual jobs – has no relation to how much they want to prioritise the environment.

“That the population as a whole is positive towards environment-friendly recovery policies is further confirmation of earlier studies, but that this applies across demographics is new and unusual.”

Dr Adam Corner, of the UK charity Climate Outreach, based in Oxford, said:

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“If politicians from the right as well as the left make the case for a green recovery from the pandemic, then this message will be heard beyond the ‘usual suspects’, and that is crucial.”