Almost two-thirds of people around the world now see climate change as a global emergency. This is the main conclusion of the largest opinion poll ever conducted on the fight against global warming.
Researchers at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the United Nations, recently analyzed the responses to several climate-oriented survey questions offered via advertisements in mobile game apps in a fifty countries between October and December of last year. More than 1.22 million people of all kinds, ages and formations finally participated in this investigation called “People’s Climate Vote”. Of this sample, almost half of the participants (approximately 550,000 people) were between 14 and 18 years old.
The sense of urgency in the face of climate change is on the rise
All countries combined, 64% of survey respondents viewed climate change as a global emergency. This result varied according to age and location. In the UK and Italy, for example, 81% of respondents saw climate change as an emergency. In contrast, this percentage fell to 50% among participants in Moldova.
Generally, younger people were also more likely to consider the climate emergency (70% agree against 58% for those over 60). The level of education also seems to be determining. “What we have seen very clearly is that there is a strong correlation between education level and belief in the climate emergency. Concretely, the more educated you are, the more likely you are to believe that there is a climate emergency“, Underlines Cassie Flynn, of the United Nations development program.
The privileged means of struggle
The four main policies for combating climate change favored by respondents are the following: conservation of forests and land (54%), development of renewable energies (53%), democratization of climate-friendly agricultural techniques (52%), and investment in green businesses and jobs (50%).
One of the least favored options to fight against climate change in this survey, which remains one of the most effective means of combating, is the democratization of plant-based diets (only 30% of respondents in favor) .
Also according to this survey, respondents not opting for any of the proposed policies (18 in total) are in the minority (1% to 2% on average). The largest share is found in Pakistan (5%) and the United States (4%). “This is very important, because it shows the rulers that not only are their populations ready for change, but they are demanding it!“, Continues Cassie Flynn.
This survey provides other lessons: control priorities differ according to geographic contexts. The inhabitants of island countries threatened by rising sea levels, for example, favor the protection of the oceans. Conversely, it is not a priority for countries with little or no coastline.
On the other hand, some results appear a little paradoxical. In Brazil, for example, respondents prioritize forest protection while their president, Jair Bolsonaro, encourages deforestation policies in the Amazon.