Climate change emerges as global emergency in biggest-ever poll

Climate change emerges as global emergency in biggest-ever poll”

In countries with high emissions from deforestation and land-use change, there was strong backing for conserving forests and land.

In many participating countries, it is the first time that large-scale polling of public opinion has ever been conducted on the topic of climate change. This idea had the highest support in the United Kingdom and Italy where more than 80% were in favour.

But despite regional differences, nearly two-thirds of the 1.2 million people surveyed in about 50 nations agreed global warming was a crisis in the online "Peoples' Climate Vote" poll conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Oxford.

One of the purposes of The Peoples' Climate survey is to help governments, particularly those who have not done climate surveys, understand the level of concern regarding climate change and what policies are favoured by people in their countries, he says.

The least popular policies overall were a switch to plant-based diets and more affordable insurance, with only 30 per cent of people reporting that they supported the promotion of the former, and 32 per cent the latter.

"This poses a hard question for governments in countries such as Australia, Canada and Poland that are trying to keep high-carbon industries alive: for how much longer will it be feasible to make policies that go against the wishes of your citizens?", he said in a statement.

The results of the survey, which has been dubbed the Peoples' Climate Vote, show that almost three quarters of respondents in the United Kingdom - or 73 per cent - want to see greater investment in green businesses and jobs, the highest level of support registered for that proposition in all 50 countries canvassed in the poll.

"Urgent climate action has broad support amongst people around the globe - across nationalities, age, gender and education", noted UNDP chief Achim Steiner.

"The key message is that, as governments are making these high-stakes decisions, the people are with them." she added. Stephen Fisher at the department of sociology at the University of Oxford said.

According to the results, 69 percent of these young people classify climate change as an emergency. "They are realising they are living the climate crisis and now they want to now live the solutions".

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"We are at a fork in the road and the poll says "this is how your future generations are thinking, in specific policy choices" - it brings a way to envision the future".

2021 is seen as a crucial year for action on climate and biodiversity.

© Getty Dramatic skies and pack ice in the arctic water of Svalbard. They are seeing flooding in southeast Asia and they are looking around and saying 'this is a real problem, we have to do something about this, ' UNDP's Strategic Advisor on Climate Change and Head of Climate Promise, Cassie Flynn told a virtual press briefing. Australia was at 72% and the USA at 65%, the same as Russian Federation, and India was at 59%.

The reason why more men and boys said there was a climate emergency than women and girls in countries such as Nigeria and Vietnam may be because girls have less access to education in those places.

People backed renewable energy in eight of the ten survey countries with the highest emissions from electric heating being generated in the United States (65%), the biggest emitter surveyed, as well as Australia (76%), Canada (73%), Germany (71%), South Africa (69%), Japan (68%), Poland (57%), and Russian Federation (51%).

"But more than that, the poll reveals how people want their policymakers to tackle the crisis", he said.

The innovative survey was distributed across mobile gaming networks in order to include hard-to-reach audiences in traditional polling, like youth under the age of 18.

Among the findings of the "People's Climate Vote" survey was that close to 70 per cent of people under 18 believe climate change is a global emergency versus 58 per cent of those over 60.

It shows that urgency around climate change is "much more widespread than previously thought", the authors said. It is an attempt, said Flynn, to gauge the public's sense of urgency on climate change and how people feel about different policies.

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