Climate Change and Environment
The people speak: “We want action on climate change”
The biggest ever opinion poll on climate change has found two-thirds of people think it is a “global emergency”.
The survey was conducted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and questioned 1.2 million people in 50 countries.
The poll found the highest proportion of people saying there is a climate emergency was in the UK and Italy, both at 81 per cent. Australia was at 72 per cent and the US at 65 per cent, the same as Russia, and India was at 59 per cent. Even the lowest proportion, in Moldova, was 50 per cent.
While younger people showed the greatest concern, with 69 per cent of those aged 14–18 saying there is a climate emergency, 58 per cent of those over 60 agreed, suggesting there is not a huge generational divide.
Even when climate action required significant changes in their own country, majorities still backed the measures.
In nations where fossil fuels are a major source of emissions, people strongly supported renewable energy, including the US (65 per cent in favour), Australia (76 per cent) and Russia (51 per cent).
Where the destruction of forests is a big cause of emissions, people supported conservation of trees, with 60 per cent support in Brazil and 57 per cent in Indonesia.
“The voice of the people is clear – they want action on climate change,” said Cassie Flynn, the UNDP’s strategic adviser on climate change.