Introducing Pure Planet’s Green Power List 2019

Friday, 19 April 20194 minute read

The top 10 most influential environmentalists

Credit: NASA/ Wikipedia Commons

It’s a wrap for Pure Planet’s Media Climate Action Week. We’ve featured top climate musicians, and actors gone activist. And now we’re wrapping up Pure Planet’s Media Climate Action Week with the results of our first ever Green Power survey.

Who are Britain’s top ten environmental influencers? Prince Charles ranks above the Queen, and Environment Secretary Michael Gove doesn’t even get a mention…

We asked 2,000 British adults: Who are the most powerful personalities in environmentalism?

When it comes to convincing people to live more eco-friendly lives, it’s no surprise that Sir David Attenborough comes out top.

Credit: BBC One, Climate Change -The Facts

He was followed in second place by Springwatch presenter and Extinction Rebellion activist Chris Packham, 57, while Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio — who dedicated his Oscars acceptance speech to calling for action on climate change — is in third.

Packham this week joined Extinction Rebellion protesters who shut down parts of central London. While DiCaprio, 44, also raised more than £79 million for environmental causes through his foundation.

Credits: Chris Packham; US State Department/ Wikipedia Commons; NASA/ Bill Ingalls/ Wikipedia Commons

Senior royals also made the top 10 with the ‘Green Prince’, Prince Charles, ranking sixth in the list of most influential environmentalists.

The Queen in 10th, who recently joined Sir David Attenborough for a special documentary on the The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a charity dedicated to protecting forests.

Documentary maker and former Strictly star Stacey Dooley was in seventh, benefiting from her work reporting on women’s issues in developing countries, many of which have been hit by Climate Change related disasters.

Credit: War on Want/ Wikipedia Commons

But there was no place in the top 10 for environment secretary Michael Gove who has overall responsibility for the government’s environmental policies or vegetarian leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn — both of whom could only convince 2% of people to change their ways.

Sir David Attenborough’s latest documentary series, released this month, follows on from hugely popular BBC series Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II in challenging the public to do more to protect the planet.

The legendary naturalist has covered the plight of the planet in his film making, including issues such as deforestation, ocean plastics and, most recently Climate Change in his new Netflix series Our Planet and on the BBC Climate Change - The Facts.

At the age of 92, he remains the single most compelling voice in the call to make the Brits of all ages think about their impact on the environment.

In Climate Change - The Facts shown on Thursday night (18 April) he issued his starkest warning yet about the state of our planet.

He said: “Right now we are facing our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change. At the current rate of warming we risk a devastating future.

“Science is now clear that urgent action is needed.

“What happens now and in these next few years will profoundly affect the next few thousand years.”

Attenborough was the person most likely to sway Millennials with almost a third of 18–34 year olds naming him as their top figure.

The impact of his Blue Planet II series has already been demonstrated in previous research which found one year after his Blue Planet II series hit televisions 53% of people said they are more likely to carry a reusable water bottle while 50% said they were more likely to use a reusable cup.

A further 62% said they were more likely to reuse a plastic bag at the supermarket than they were before the series first aired.

The latest vote comes in the week Richard Madeley was blasted as disrespectful by fans for saying Attenborough was: “Not a saint you know. He’s just a broadcaster,” during a debate about climate change.

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The Green Power List report commissioned by Pure Planet was polled by Opinium research. The results are from a national omnibus of 2,002 UK adults. Surveys were carried out between 12th and 15th April 2019.

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