Two-thirds of World See 'Climate Emergency', Says UN Survey

27 Janvier, 2021, 16:31 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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More than two-thirds of the world's population believe climate change constitutes "a global emergency", according to the findings of the world's largest-ever conducted opinion poll on climate change.

Nearly two-thirds of over 1.2 million people surveyed worldwide say that climate change is a global emergency, and call for greater action to address the crisis, according to a new United Nations climate released on Wednesday.

"This shows there is real appetite for change", she said.

Regionally, the proportion of people who said climate change is a global emergency had a high level of support everywhere - in Western Europe and North America (72%), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (65%), Arab States (64%), Latin America and Caribbean (63%), Asia and Pacific (63%), and Sub-Saharan Africa (61%). The overall average was 64 per cent. Youth belief in the climate emergency was 69 per cent, that's higher than any other age group, particularly the 60+ age group's 58 per cent.

"This provides an unprecedented, comprehensive view of not only if people believe there is a climate crisis but also how they want to solve it, what are their priorities to get us out of this mess", said Flynn.

Overall, the most popular climate policy was efforts to conserve forests and land, receiving support from 54 per cent of respondents.

In four of the five countries with the highest emissions from land-use change and enough data on policy preferences, there was majority support for conserving forests and land. Meanwhile, the majority of respondents in all G20 countries surveyed want to see greater investment in green jobs and business.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said: "The results of the survey clearly illustrate that urgent climate action has broad support among people around the globe, across nationalities, age, gender and education level".

The survey, which was distributed through mobile gaming networks in order to reach younger audiences that are typically hard to engage in public opinion polling, suggests that younger people across the world see the climate crisis as a bigger threat than their parents.

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In the survey, respondents were asked if climate change was a global emergency and whether they supported eighteen key climate policies across six action areas: economy, energy, transport, food & farms, nature and protecting people.

It found 73% of United Kingdom respondents want the government to prioritise environmentally-friendly employment, with 81% describing climate change as a global emergency, against a survey average of 64%.

Some 1.22 million people in 50 countries that is home to 56% of the world's population responded to the survey, the UNDP said, adding it was conducted with England's University of Oxford in 17 languages through advertisements in mobile game applications to generate a random sample of people of all genders, ages and educational backgrounds.

Detailed results broken down by age, gender, and education level will be shared with governments around the world by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which organized the innovative poll with the University of Oxford. Recognition of the climate emergency is much more widespread than previously thought. "We've also found that most people clearly want a strong and wide-raging policy response".

The findings also reveal a clear link between a person's level of education and their desire for climate action, with a high recognition of the climate emergency reported among those who had attended university or college in all countries.

As countries around the world develop their pledges as part of the Paris Climate Agreement, Flynn says the UNDP will work with them to ensure the voice of the people is articulated in those plans.

He encouraged the United Kingdom government to capitalise on the broad social mandate for climate action revealed by the survey and enact climate policies that would help the country meet its climate goals and set a global example in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow in the autumn.

The researchers say for several governments, this is the first time they will have access to extensive, analysed data on public views on climate change and policy prescriptions.

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