Majority of Global Citizens Want Urgent Action on Climate Change
We’ve seen many studies that have helped illuminate American opinions and beliefs about climate change – but a new global survey offers an insightful look at attitudes around the world. This survey, the most comprehensive of its kind ever conducted, involved 10,000 citizens from 79 countries. 78 percent of respondents said they were “very concerned” about climate impacts, and 63 percent said they thought negotiators at the upcoming Paris summit should do “whatever it takes” to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.
These results are very positive indicators that support for climate action continues to grow – but the poll showed even more good news. As this Guardian article explains, two-thirds of respondents also said they saw climate solutions as “an opportunity to improve quality of life,” meaning they don’t view climate action as a sacrifice. This level of support should encourage government leaders and negotiators to act boldly and urgently on climate, both at the UN Summit and in their own countries.
By Emma Howard, contributor to the Guardian
Nearly two-thirds of people believe that negotiators at key UN climate talks in December should do “whatever it takes” to limit global warming to a 2C rise, according to what is believed to be the most comprehensive survey of global public attitudes to climate change ever conducted.
The Worldwide Views on Climate and Energy consultation involved 10,000 citizens from 79 developed and developing countries.
It was initiated by a coalition including the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with support from, among others, the French, German and Norwegian governments and the European Space Agency.
Of those participating, 78% said they are “very concerned” about the impacts of climate change, although this drops to 69% for citizens from developed countries. Globally, 89% said that climate change should be a national priority in their country, while 49% said they felt that it already was. 80% said that their country should take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions even if others do not.
Asked how urgently the world should react to climate change, 63% of participants said the world should decide in Paris to do “whatever it takes” to limit temperatures to 2C.
Image credit: ISS/ESA/NASA