Less than half of Britons believes that human activity is to blame for global warming, according to a poll carried out for The Times newspaper and published on Saturday.
Only 41 percent accept as an established scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made.
Almost a third, or 32 percent, believe that the link is not yet proved; eight percent say it is environmentalist propaganda to blame man and 15 percent believe the world is not warming.
Only slightly more than a quarter (28 percent) think climate change is the most serious problem that the world faces.
The findings of the poll threaten to undermine British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's position at next month's UN conference in Copenhagen where world leaders will attempt to craft a new accord to curb greenhouse gases.
The Times said the scepticism illustrated the difficulty the government will have in persuading the public to accept higher green taxes to help meet Britain's legally binding targets to cut carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.
Some 53 percent of people questioned oppose the idea of increasing the cost of motoring to encourage people to drive less.
The poll was carried out by Populus for The Times by interviewing a random sample of 1,504 adults by telephone on November 6-8.
(c) 2009 AFP
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