The Department of Energy and Climate Change reiterated the view of Ed Davey, Climate Change Secretary, that "the basic physics of climate change is irrefutable".
Graham Thompson, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: "The public can see that the response of our politicians is completely inadequate to the threat scientists have revealed, and that dissonance is reflected in these polls."
Doug Miller, chairman of GlobeScan, said: "Evidence of environmental damage is stronger than ever, but our data shows that economic crisis and a lack of political leadership mean that the public are starting to tune out."
The declining interest in climate change comes amid a backlash against costly green energy investments in an age of austerity. David Nussbaum, head of WWF UK, said "sustained pressure" was required from political leaders to combat climate change. He said it was only when "real indicators" of climate change came, such as floods and droughts, that public perceptions changed.