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Truth Behind the Headlines: Three quarters of adults think weather forecasts should include information about air quality

The media are reporting that three quarters of adults in the UK think weather forecasts should include information about air quality - and consider it to be just as important as the pollen count.


The article revealed that 86 per cent of people want to know much more about air pollution on a daily basis, and 68 per cent reported that they felt they would do more to help the environment if they had daily reminders about the quality of the air they breathe.


The report explains that E.ON have released this data alongside their new Change the Weather Service that provides air quality information to media. To achieve this the energy company have teamed up with weather broadcaster and meteorologist Clare Nasir to help people better understand what the 'Air Quality Index' means.

Using our recommended five tips, Global Action Plan reviewed the study:


Questions to ask to get to the truth Our response
1. Does the article refer to a report to back up its claims?

The article refers to a study by E.ON, released alongside their Change the Weather Service that provides information on air quality to media


2. Who is behind the study it refers to?

E.ON are a UK based energy provider, serving 3.8million customers across the country.


The survey was completed by Censuswide an international market research consultancy.

3. How fantastical and radical is the claim that is being made?

The data set is large enough to be confident in the result.


Where comparable we can look at the differences between the data shared by E.ON and data collected by Global Action Plan (GAP) as part of our Build Back Cleaner Air work and quarterly Clean Air Public Insight Tracker for example:

  • E.ON say 57% say they care more about air quality than ever before, similarly GAP revealed that 62% of people want the government and local authorities to invest in plans to tackle air pollution and traffic more urgently than before the outbreak of coronavirus.
  • E.ON says 25% believe air pollution has had a direct impact on their own or their family’s health however GAP’s September Insight Tracker revealed that 80% of people feel that their health is impacted to some extent by outdoor air pollution.


4. What geographical region does the claim refer to?

The UK

5. What is the sample size of the study?

A study of 4,063 adults was conducted in October 2020.

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