Survey respondents in advanced economies are highly concerned about the personal impact of climate change and are willing to make changes to address the issue with personal and international action, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.
The US-based think tank, Pew Research Center, surveyed 16,254 people via telephone from March 12 to May 26 this year in 16 advanced economies. All surveys were conducted with adults in Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Surveys in the US were also conducted with 2,596 adults from Feb. 1 to 7.
Six in ten adults in the US, one of the leading CO2 emitters worldwide, express concerns that global climate change would harm them personally, compared with a median of 72% who say the same across the 17 economies.
About 74% of Americans are willing to either make some or a lot of changes in their lifestyles to deal with climate change, closer to the eight-in-ten median who respond elsewhere, the results showed.
The results reveal that 47% of Americans say the US is 'doing a good job' of dealing with climate change, while a median of 36% across other countries surveyed says the same.
China, another leading CO2 emitter, receives the poorest marks from international public opinion with a median of 78% across surveyed countries, describing China's handling of climate change as 'bad', while 45% describe it as 'very bad' compared with a cumulative median of 615 who judge the American response as 'bad'.
According to the survey, the majority of those surveyed in the advanced economies view the European Union's (EU) response to climate change favorably. However, the exception is Germany where the opinion is split with 49% responding positively but 47% expressing discontent with the EU’s response.
A median of 56% favors the United Nations' actions to address global warming, while only 5% describe the UN's response as 'very good'.
In terms of responses from the international community, a median of 52% lack confidence that a multilateral response will succeed, compared with 46% who are optimistic that countries can respond to the impacts of climate change by working together.
A high percentage of people are skeptical of multilateral efforts in France at 65%, Sweden at 61% and Belgium at 60%, while optimism is robust in South Korea at 68% and Singapore at 66%.
About 45% of the US public expresses confidence that the actions of the international community will reduce the impacts of climate change.
Democrats, a median of 65%, hold a similar view while only 23% of Republicans are confident about the international community's success against climate change.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya