Your browser is no longer supported. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Seven segments 2024 overview

This section explores key differences and commonalities across the seven British segments.

Explore our overall 2024 findings and our key insights and recommendations.

The seven segments in 2024

For me, I think the term climate change is such a big and all encompassing term that covers so many different things and so many different levels of responsibility… I just feel it's almost one of these terms that you can have this conversation with somebody and you could just end up agreeing or disagreeing and in fact you're not even talking about the same issue and it's almost a meaningless term.”

Disengaged Traditionalist, Essex

This reflection from one of our focus group participants sums up why we use the values-based segmentation to explore people’s thoughts, views and priorities around climate change. 

Different people have different outlooks, values and priorities. This shapes how they think and feel about climate change. 

Every segment cares about climate change. But people have different ideas about what it means for them, who should do what, and how included they feel in the transition.  

The headline differences between the segments:

  • Strength of feeling.  For Progressive Activists, climate change is one of the most important issues facing the world.  For the disengaged segments, it can feel less urgent day-to-day. 
  • Thinking more globally or locally. Some people are more likely to think about  climate change in terms of complex global systems or economics. These people are more likely to be Progressive Activists and Established Liberals. Most other segments are more galvanised by what’s going on closer to home, and by changes they can touch and feel. 
  • Trust in institutions like governments. All segments are pretty disillusioned with politics right now, and want governments to lead on climate change. But for some, like Loyal Nationals and the Disengaged segments, there’s a more deeply-held cynicism about ‘elites’. They need to see and believe that things can and are changing, not just be told that it might.  
  • Income and wealth. Established Liberals, Backbone Conservatives and Civic Pragmatists tend to be the richest segments, and the most likely to enthusiastically adopt new technology.  Loyal Nationals and the two Disengaged segments are the most likely to be on lower incomes. 

Climate engagement and concern across the segments

Most people are concerned about climate change, but motivation to act varies across segments.

We see large differences in motivation to take action across the segments. Whilst Progressive Activists feel much more motivated than the average Brit, Disengaged Traditionalists and Disengaged Battlers tend to feel less so.

Motivation to take climate action by segment


Progressive Activists are typically restless for change and the majority would say climate change needs rapid, urgent action and that little is currently being done.

There is a danger of this segment losing hope. Communication needs to inspire Progressive Activists showing them that change is possible, and progress can be sped up.

The climate is something we need to tackle. We should have started tackling many years ago.”

Progressive Activist, Bristol

...I'm fairly sure I've seen multiple BBC official news sites… saying we've gone past the point of saving. It has now got to the point where we can't undo the damage. It's irreparable… I think I've adjusted my way of living subconsciously to be more green and eco-friendly. But at the same time, as quite a lot of people have pointed out, it feels like I can take a step forward for the environment but big corporations are then taking ten jumps back so it's kind of redundant in that regard.”

Progressive Activist, Bristol

While the two ‘Disengaged’ segments are not opposed to action on climate change, it is less of an immediate priority for them.

I do my part, the recycling. I don't drive the car much. I walk everywhere… I just think we all got to be part of it. It's not, is it, too late for change? There's seven to eight billion people. We've all got to do our bits and make sure the planet's running again.“

Disengaged Traditionalist, Essex

I think because I work in education, I can just see how much it's changed, all the cuts that have been made, the millions that are having to be cut and all the services that are no longer available. The changes and services for kids with additional support needs is horrendous. And as you said, poverty and the cost of living and also environmental issues. What's happening there? It seems like it was so big and then obviously with covid and everything sort of changed and well that's something I'd like to talk about.”

Disengaged Battler, Glasgow

How the segments rank their concerns about the impacts of climate change

We asked participants Which of the following impacts of climate change are you most worried about over the next 10 years? From a list of 15 options, respondents could select up to three. 

Top 5 worries about potential negative impacts of climate change by segment (Data: More in Common, January 2024)

Note: See previous research on Net Zero, fairness and climate politics for 2022 climate impact worries. Please note, the questions asked in 2022 and 2024 were not identical in wording or answer options, so changes in rankings and percentages across the years should be interpreted with caution. 

Across the segments, people are most likely to be concerned that climate change will:

  • Harm nature and wildlife.
  • Cause their  bills and other costs to rise.
  • Increase the risk of floods.
  • Have a negative impact on their children/grandchildren’s future.

There are some key differences in how the segments rank their concerns:

  • Harm to nature and wildlife is the number one worry for most segments and the biggest reason for action across the board. 
  • Concern is rising about the felt impacts of climate change: heatwaves and flooding. While Disengaged Traditionalists are least likely to say they are worried about the impacts of climate change, all segments care about these things. 
  • Progressive Activists, Established Liberals and Civic Pragmatists highly rank concerns about the suffering of the world’s poorest – in keeping with their tendency to have a more global outlook.
A rural bus service makes its way through the Lake District on February 3, 2011 in Grasmere, England.
Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

How the segments rank their concerns about the impacts of low-carbon transition policies

Top 5 worries about potential negative impacts of government action to tackle climate change and transition away from fossil fuels, by segment (Data: More in Common, January 2024).

Financial concerns about the transition dominate for all segments.

All segments, even those that tend to have more money, are concerned that the transition may increase their bills or taxes.  

These are tough times for many people. The reality of the cost of living crisis hasn’t lessened people’s concern about climate change, but it has made people more worried about the cost of tackling it. 

Communicators need to be very sensitive to these concerns, and make sure the transition feels do-able for everyone, not just those with cash. This means providing people with viable, affordable options across all aspects of the transition.

So that means me having to buy a whole new car that I probably can't afford anyway, just to be able to drive to a place of work and your wages are not going up either. So whichever way it is, our energy prices are going to go up, food is going to go up because of costs on the trucks coming into the country or the air. So everything is actually at a cost to us. So I find it very frustrating.”

Disengaged Battler, Stevenage

These politicians who are making these decisions about electric cars and things, they don't understand the majority of things about the poverty that's going on and how people are living and sort of then understand the cost of living crisis and then expecting people to buy electric cars and things. They're just totally out of touch with the reality of what's going on around them really.”

Loyal National, Sunderland

Just another tax on the poor then, isn't it?”

Civic Pragmatist, Glasgow

Some people are in different situations where you've got people who are, with the cost of living crisis, really struggling and they would maybe just take that hit. Other people would maybe think, well you know what? I'd rather not have it for a while and just take my time with it and have it done. But it just depends with everybody, everyone can rest on the principles if they can afford to.”

Backbone Conservative, Cumbria

Climate leadership across the segments

The need for governments to lead, and not place the onus entirely on individuals, is reflected across all segments.

Many people across the segments don’t feel much agency over their lives in general. Many struggle to see how they can play their part within a system that feels deeply unfair, or fundamentally broken.

If the government doesn't actually provide schemes to enable everyone the opportunity to get [a solar panel], then it's counterproductive because it's not a battle that we can win as individuals. It needs to be a collective and the collective needs to be managed and governed properly.”

Civic Pragmatist, Cardiff

I think it's a massive issue and they were encouraging people to not drive places and use public transport and then it's like okay, we'll do that. But then you just had the bus strikes that went on for god knows how long, then you've got the train strikes and it's like right, so how do we get to work?”

Loyal National, Sunderland

I've really cut back on my meat consumption and things like that and I do those for reasons of sustainability of the planet, but I do not for one minute think that they are the solution. I think they're a part of the solution and they're needed, but the whole kind of bigger scale industrial pollution…”

Disengaged Traditionalist, Essex

I think it is a good idea, but I don't think it suits everyone. I mean where we live, we don't have a parking space. We just park where we can on the road. So charging up an electric car at home would be impossible. So I rely upon a network of charging points that don't exist at the moment. So I like the idea of an electric car, but the practicality is it's not going to work.”

Disengaged Traditionalist, Essex

All segments support government climate leadership, but there’s variation in how fast they want to go, and how positive they feel about it.

A majority in all segments want to press ahead with net zero but there are large differences in how fast people want the transition to be.

 Likelihood to vote for imaginary political parties based on net zero pledges by segment


Over two thirds of Progressive Activists want the government to actively speed up efforts to reach net zero. 

Disengaged Traditionalists are the only segment where more people want to slow down than speed up, though ‘don’t know’ is the most common choice. In general, the disengaged segments are likely to pay less attention to mainstream climate campaigns or communications.

A majority in six of the seven segments think reaching net zero will be good for the UK.

Perceptions of effects of reaching net zero on the UK by segment


All segments are broadly positive about what net zero can do for the UK. Segments that are less supportive of net zero are less likely to have a strong opinion either way: 42% of Disengaged Traditionalists were either neutral or said they ‘didn’t know’.

Six of the seven segments believe climate change should sit above short-term politics.

People across the segments largely want to see politicians from all parties working together on climate action. This is the majority view across the board.

Attitudes towards party-specific or cross-party approaches to tackling climate change by segment.

I'd rather see them sit around the table and try and work everything out to help the country out more than standing there arguing about silly things between each other and then going down to the bar and having a drink with the mates.”

Backbone Conservative

Governments ought to work together but one of the problems is, we have this five year lifespan of each parliament and someone else said before, they always look for a quick fix. They don't seem to go beyond their party politics”

Established Liberal, Surrey

I think when it comes to climate change then I don't understand why. I mean this might just be maybe a bit naive, but I don't understand why we wouldn't just agree with the same or similar outcome. I know there's other issues that fair enough they [the government] can disagree on and different people have got different opinions on them and things, so that's fine and I can understand why you would disagree on them because different people want different things, but when it comes to climate change, I don't really see why no one would really disagree on it, I don't think.”

Progressive Activist, Bristol

In focus groups, Disengaged Traditionalists were sceptical of collaboration between parties in practice, questioning whether it would yield the right results – in keeping with a wider cynicism about how the system works more generally. This segment is not necessarily opposed to climate policies on principle, but is concerned with process and practical viability.

I think it's good to have an opposition because you have checks and balances then don't you? I mean look at during covid, all the government was working together then and at the [time] things that went on that we're now finding out about. I think it's good to have somebody stand up and say, I don't agree with your idea. Why is this the best idea? And I think we want choice and I think we want, nothing's set in stone in terms of how we deal with climate change.”

Disengaged Traditionalist, Essex

Across the segments, few believe the UK government has done a good job at tackling climate change.

Perception of government performance in various climate actions it can take, by segment.


Even in segments where people are more supportive of the current government – like the Backbone Conservatives – only a quarter (24%) think they’ve done a good job at tackling climate change.  A large number of people have no strong feelings or don’t know (again in particular amongst disengaged groups). 

Most people don’t track climate politics closely, so sentiments like these are largely shaped by wider politics or views on the performance of the government of the day.

Because that trust's been broken and because we feel like we've been failed on so many different things when they ask us to come together and talk about these things… what's the point? What are they doing? The trust's broken and it just feels like it would be a waste of your own time that you could be doing better things”

Loyal National, Sunderland

When you look at delaying the electric car issue another five years, I mean who's to say in two years time they won't delay it further? This has been something that's been in the pipeline for a good while now. So to then just delay it another five years at the drop of a hat really just shows how they're not committed to it.”

Civic Pragmatist, Edinburgh

Across segments, relatively few feel they’ve been informed and consulted by governments.

Perceived level of action taken by the UK or local government to inform citizens about what new policies and technologies to transition away from fossil fuels mean for them, by segment.
Perceived level of action taken by the UK or local government to inform citizens in advance about new policies and technologies to transition away from fossil fuels, by segment.
Perceived level of action taken by the UK or local government to consult citizens on new policies to transition away from fossil fuels mean for them, by segment.

While a minority in all segments feel informed and consulted by governments, there are some notable differences between segments.  Wealthier and more trustful segments, like Backbone Conservatives and Established Liberals, are more likely to feel that they have been involved and informed. This may partly be a result of more people seeking out information in the first place, for example about new technology.

Civic Pragmatists and Disengaged Battlers are especially unlikely to feel that they’ve been consulted and informed and are likely to feel resentful of this.

I believe we have no say and nobody's listening and they're just doing what they want to do. “

Civic Pragmatist, Cardiff

I think the fact that most of us don't even know much about [heat pumps] shows that the government should first invest in educating people about the benefits and get us understanding how this will implicate our lives and stuff like that.”

Civic Pragmatist, Cardiff

Some segments feel more strongly about being consulted than others.

Civic Pragmatists and Loyal Nationals – two segments that are particularly community-minded – feel more strongly about being consulted.

Established Liberals, the segment that often expresses the strongest sense of agency, are the least likely to feel ‘angry or disappointed if the government didn’t consult them first’ before getting on with local policy plans.

Feelings towards hypothetical plans for new wind farm, developed by government without consultation process, by segment.

I think it's important that we have more of a say just because I think [MPs] are so far removed from the reality that a normal citizen is actually living in. “

Civic Pragmatist, Cardiff

I think we just get pushed aside. I think that normal people do. Nobody wants to listen to what we got to say. And like you said, we're people, when you're talking about knocking doors, they only come knocking on your door when it's an election. They don't want to know the rest of the time. That's the only time they seem to want to make an effort.”

Loyal National, Bridgend

Many believe it’s important that local people have a say in things that concern their local area.

We asked people why they might, or might not, take part in activities where they can have a say on climate change locally.  There was a lot of commonality: 

  • Where people would, by far the most cited reason was it being important that we get a say over what happens to where we live.  
  • Where people wouldn’t, people most often said they were distrustful of their MPs or councillors, or felt they couldn’t make a difference. Only one segment, Established LIberals, had a notably different view, with the most cited reason (25%) being that they are happy to leave climate policy to the experts.  

I don’t think they care, I just think that [the government] over-promises and under delivers, and once they're in power there's a reason why it can't be done that they hadn't thought of before. “

Civic Pragmatist, Edinburgh

Because that trust's been broken and because we feel like we've been failed on so many different things when they ask us to come together and talk about these things… what's the point? What are they doing? The trust's broken and it just feels like it would be a waste of your own time that you could be doing better things”

Loyal National, Sunderland

I think in an ideal world, everybody would like to be consulted about decisions for the country, but is it going to happen or is the government, or whichever one's in power, going to just get on and do what they want?”

Backbone Conservative, Cumbria

I think I'd like to be involved, but you'd need a lot of people agreeing with the same thing in order for anybody to listen. I think yes, they would take on board what you were saying, but not necessarily action, if that makes sense. If they make a decision, then I would think that they've obviously done their research, they know whether it's a good thing or not and they just need some people to approve it. But I think if it's a good thing and it can save money and help with the environment, then yeah, it's fine. But it would be nice to be asked.”

Established Liberal, Surrey

The segments vary in how much climate change and the environment affects their vote.

Top 5 issues influencing decision on how to vote, by segment (Data: More in Common, January 2024)

BTC tables - most important issues when voting

Across the population as a whole, climate change and the environment is a top four issue when people are deciding how to vote. For Progressive Activists, Civic Pragmatists and Established Liberals it’s the third most important consideration. But for Loyal Nationals, Disengaged Traditionalists and Backbone Conservatives, it’s not a priority voting consideration.  This doesn’t mean they don’t care – as we see elsewhere, all segments are concerned about climate change. 

No I wouldn't. I wouldn't vote for the party who said [talked] all about the climate. I agree with some of what the people said, but I think we've got much more important issues to tackle first.”

Loyal National, Sunderland

I literally feel like everyone is screaming, people are screaming about it [climate change]. It's on the news all the time. People want change and I don't think there is enough change. There's not meaningful change… I think it should be at the forefront of a lot of policy and change and it's just not.”

Progressive Activist, Bristol

Climate policy across the segments

All segments feel positive about getting more clean energy.

We asked people how supportive they feel towards a range of hypothetical policies that might be part of net zero. None were significantly opposed. Two – both to do with investment in and installation of new renewable energy – were popular across the board.

Feelings towards hypothetical climate policies and actions the government could take, by segment.


Progressive Activists tend to be more strongly in support of any given policy than other segments. 

Broadly speaking, policies become less popular when they are felt to be ‘taking something away’, or where they feel like they are reducing people’s freedoms.  

How policies are described matters. People don’t respond well to communications that present the transition as a sacrifice or a threat to their way of life. This is particularly true for less engaged segments or those like Loyal Nationals who are already worried about the direction the country is headed.

Rachel cycles her children to school on a cargo bike, through busy traffic, in Didsbury, Manchester, UK. 2nd February 2024.
Photo credit: Mary Turner / Climate Visuals

There are important nuances in how people feel about reducing road space for cars.

In this question, we see lower support for ‘your local authority commits to reducing road space for cars in favour of public transport in your local area.’ This presents a contrast to other findings in this research. 

In a separate but related question we heard more support (63%) when we asked people if they agree with the more abstract question that ‘the UK government should invest in improving public transport and active travel, even if it means taking road space away from cars.’  We see more support when we include active travel – which we generally see is popular – and emphasise improvements to public transport. 

There also appears to be more support for national government making changes generally, than for your local council doing things in your local area.  

Translating high-level, in-principle support into support for the practical reality of change takes work. People need to know what’s happening, why it’s happening and how it can benefit them. For many people, they want to have had a say, or at least have had the option to. All too often many do not feel they’re given even basic information about changes that may affect them directly.

Most people across the segments think a range of climate policy options are reasonable.

Perception of whether carious climate policies ‘go too far’, by segment.


The policy areas presented in this list were deliberately phrased to test the strength of feeling towards them. 

Across the segments, most people do not believe that most of these policy options ‘go too far.’ 

The exception is ‘expecting everyone to pay for new low-carbon technologies themselves.’ This ‘goes too far’ for a majority across most segments. This is in line with our general finding: people don’t want to be left alone to face, tackle and pay for climate change

People have a deeply-held need for things to be fair. They don’t think that everyone should be expected to face and pay for climate change by themselves, especially the poorest in society. People are more likely to feel concerned about the costs to individuals, including those seen as vulnerable, than costs to society as a whole.

Assumptions about the fairness of public transport policies varies across the segments.

Perceived level of fairness of public transport policies over the next 10 years to transition away from fossil fuels, by segment.

In five of the seven segments, more people than not assume upcoming public transport policies will be fair to people like them.

Luckily I'm able to walk to work but I was aware of the two pound ticket but I didn't know whether it's still available. Sometimes when you could be sitting for so long in traffic it is quicker to walk. So it's nice to have the option if the bus fares continue to be kept at a lower rate to have that option if it's raining that you can jump on the bus instead and know that it's not going to cost you a fortune”

Established Liberal, Surrey

I know it'd be great if we didn't have cars, but at the moment we have cars, I need a car to get to work. I start at odd time shift times. I can't rely on the buses.”

Civic Pragmatist, Edinburgh

Two segments are less sure: Disengaged Traditionalists and Loyal Nationals, who are amongst the least trusting of government. These segments are least certain that ‘change’ has represented good news for them and their communities.

The primary issue seems to be one of cost, not opposition to more public transport itself. In focus group discussions, when asked ; “If you were in charge, what’s the one thing you would do about climate change?” Disengaged Traditionalists tended to say cheaper or free public transport, and to talk about reduced costs making a big difference to them. 

I've certainly started using public transport a lot more since the two pound bus fare came in recently. It just makes sense to me that it's so much cheaper than parking a car sometimes. But where I live, the buses tend to finish at seven o'clock in the evening, which is a bit of a pain. There's no evening buses, so that's had a big impact. It's changed the places that I go to because I look where I can get to on a bus rather than thinking, oh, I want to go there, it’s where can I go that's on a two pound bus ride. So that's changed my habits quite a bit.”

Disengaged Traditionalist, Essex

Assumptions about the fairness of home heating policies varies across the segments.

Perceived level of fairness of home heating policies over the next 10 years to transition away from fossil fuels, by segment.

None of the segments strongly believe home heating policies will be fair to people like them, although it’s a mixed picture. There appears to be an assumption that it will cost people money to meet this policy. Segments that have more money, like Established Liberals, are much less concerned about potential unfairness than those on lower incomes. Established Liberals are twice as likely than Disengaged Battlers to believe this area of policy making will be fair.

I think they have to have subsidies. I think they have to have real people with real life experience instead of people that have got lots and lots of money that think, oh this sounds good. But they don't take into account your everyday person.”

Disengaged Battler, Glasgow

Winners are the people with the money that can afford to buy them.”

Loyal National, Sunderland

Continue exploring



Sign up to our newsletter