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Richer nations less concerned about climate change: poll

Global public concern about climate change has declined over the past six years, especially in industrialized countries, finds a new 21-country poll from GlobeScan.

Less than half (48%) of citizens living in industrialized countries (OECD members) now rate climate as a “very serious” problem, down from 63%  in 2009. Interestingly, a higher percentage of citizens in non-OECD countries (54%) now rate climate as a “very serious” problem.

Only 8% of citizens across 21 countries polled want their government to oppose any climate deal being reached in Paris. An average of 43% want their government to play a leadership role in setting ambitious targets, while another 40% want their government to take a more moderate approach and support only gradual action.

The poll findings also suggest that citizens have become significantly more informed about climate change over the past 15 years. Almost twice as many today blame human-caused climate change or rising CO2 levels for extreme weather events, compared to a GlobeScan poll in January 2000. More than seven in 10 people now point to human factors, including pollution and other causes, as the reason for extreme weather events when asked without prompting.

Doug Miller, GlobeScan Chairman, comments: “Our polling suggests a less supportive public opinion context for a Paris deal this year compared to stronger support that existed prior to the failed Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009. Real leadership and effective diplomacy will be needed for success in Paris.”


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GlobeScan | Global | Climate change

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