Greta Thunberg supports Cardiff climate change centre

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Media captionGreta Thunberg sent a video message to support the new centre

The climate change activist Greta Thunberg has praised a Cardiff centre set up to tackle the issue.

The new £5m Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) will explore ways people can directly reduce their own carbon emissions and influence others.

It commissioned a survey looking at attitudes towards climate change.

Swedish environmental activist Ms Thunberg, 16, is credited with raising global awareness of the issue.

She said in a video message to CAST: "I think what you're trying to achieve with CAST is extremely important and essential because we need to take drastic measures to change our lifestyles and our current social and economic system because we cannot go on like we are today, it is too unsustainable.

"So I wish you the best of luck. Continue, I stand behind you."

Of the 2,018 people surveyed by a CAST poll via YouGov, more than three in five said addressing climate change requires a "high" or "extremely high" level of urgency while two thirds supported limiting air travel and more than half felt the amount of meat consumed should be reduced.

The centre, which launches on Wednesday at Cardiff University, is a collaboration between Cardiff, Manchester, York and East Anglia universities and the charity Climate Outreach.

It aims to become a global hub for understanding the changes needed to address climate change, focusing on food and diet; transport and mobility; consumption of goods; and heating and cooling.

Image caption Greta Thunberg, 16, is credited with raising global awareness of climate change

CAST's director, Prof Lorraine Whitmarsh, said: "Our new survey findings make clear that most people feel climate change is an urgent issue, and are willing to make significant changes to their own lifestyles to help tackle it.

"Changing travel and food habits are amongst the most impactful thing individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint - it's very encouraging that there's support amongst the public for making these changes."

Executive chair Prof Jennifer Rubin added: "Despite the urgent need to tackle climate change, researchers know that people rarely talk about it on a day-to-day basis - this means opportunities for meaningful dialogue and practical responses relevant to people's everyday lives are missed."

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