BBC Poll: Nearly Two-Thirds Say Climate Change is Very Serious


BBC climate change poll

Among 24, 071 survey participants across 23 countries, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say climate change is a “very serious” problem, reports the BBC.

That’s the highest level of concern since GlobeScan began international tracking of this issue back in 1998.

However, the US and China –the world’s two largest CO2 emitters –are bucking this trend. Concern for climate change actually decreased among survey respondents from those countries.

The survey was conducted between June and October, 2009, and here are a few highlights that caught my eye:

  • 64 percent of all those polled see climate change as a “very serious” problem.  The concern is less in the US (45 percent) and China (57 percent).
  • Despite the recession, an average of 61% support their governments making investments to address climate change, even if these investments hurt the economy.
  • Interestingly, the Chinese are the most likely to support government investments to address climate change even if these harm the economy (89 percent). Only 52 percent of Americans feel the same way.
  • There’s an approximately equal split between those who want their governments to push for rapid action (44 percent) and those that prefer a more gradual approach (39 percent).
  • Only six percent want their governments to oppose an international agreement.
  • Majorities in major European nations support their government playing a strong leadership role in Copenhagen : 62 percent in the UK, 57 percent in France, and 55 percent in Germany. Other governments being pressed by their citizens to show leadership include Canada (61percent), Australia (57 percent), Japan (57percent), and Brazil (53 percent).
  • By contrast, those polled in China prefer a “moderate approach” involving “only gradual action” (49 percent) over a “leadership approach” (37 percent). Here, in the US, 46 percent want the government to show leadership, 36 percent say they want a “moderate approach,” and 14 percent oppose any agreement.

Detailed findings from the BBC survey are available here.

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