Published On: Tue, Sep 14th, 2021

More Europeans are taking climate change seriously. In the U.S., not so much.


Intense concern about climate change is growing amongst folks in a number of main economies, in line with a survey launched Tuesday by the Pew Research Center that discovered that 72 p.c of these polled have been nervous climate change will hurt them personally in some unspecified time in the future of their lifetime.

The survey included greater than 16,000 folks throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific area and represented folks’s views of the risk of climate change, their willingness to make private sacrifices to handle it and their perceptions of worldwide efforts to curb international warming.

The ballot was carried out in the spring however its launch comes after a collection of maximum climate occasions — starting from devastating floods in Germany, China and the United States to sweltering warmth waves throughout the Northern Hemisphere — plagued a number of continents in latest months.

Most nations noticed a pointy enhance in those that mentioned they are “very concerned” that climate change will have an effect on them personally of their lifetime.

In Germany, as an illustration, 18 p.c of individuals expressed being “very concerned” in 2015, in comparison with 37 p.c this 12 months. Australia noticed a comparable uptick, with 34 p.c of individuals saying they are “very concerned” about climate change, a 16-point enhance over 2015.

Only Japan noticed a big decline in those that are very involved about climate change. Pew researchers discovered an 8-point lower, to 26 p.c, over 2015.

In the U.S., these views did not change considerably since 2015, they mentioned.

Public concern about climate change will probably be a key driver of negotiations amongst nations at the upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference in November, the place world leaders are anticipated to set aggressive emissions targets to fight international warming according to the targets of the Paris Agreement.

The Pew report discovered that 80 p.c of individuals polled have been keen to make adjustments in how they dwell and work to assist scale back the impacts of climate change. Reviews of present efforts have been extra combined, nonetheless, with solely 56 p.c of individuals responding that society is doing a “very” or “somewhat good” job of coping with international warming.

The survey additionally discovered ideological variations in folks’s willingness to make private sacrifices to handle climate change. Those on the left have been typically extra keen to regulate their way of life to cut back the impacts of world warming, with 94 p.c of those that determine with the ideological left in the U.S. saying they’d be keen to make “some” or “a lot of” adjustments to how they work and dwell, in comparison with 45 p.c who determine with the ideological proper.

Similar variations have been present in Australia, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, although the largest ideological hole was amongst folks in the U.S.

The survey respondents spanned the U.S., Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

In the examine, youthful folks tended to be extra involved about international warming in comparison with older adults. In the U.S., 71 p.c of individuals ages 18 to 29 have been “very” or “somewhat concerned” that climate change would have an effect on them personally of their lifetime, in contrast with 52 p.c of those that have been 65 and older.

Similar variations between age teams have been present in Australia, New Zealand, France and Canada. The widest age hole was present in Sweden, the place 65 p.c of 18- to 29-year-olds expressed concern about being personally impacted by climate change, in comparison with simply 25 p.c of adults 65 and older.

Youth activists have led climate protests round the world and have pushed leaders to take extra aggressive motion to fight international warming. But whereas younger folks are an integral a part of the resolution, they are additionally amongst these most affected by climate change.

A separate preprint examine below evaluation by the journal Lancet Planetary Health linked authorities inaction on climate change to psychological misery and climate anxiousness in younger folks. In that survey, which concerned 10,000 kids and younger folks throughout 10 nations, 74 p.c of the respondents mentioned they consider that “the future is frightening.”

Forty-five p.c of younger folks in the examine mentioned climate anxiousness and misery are affecting their day by day lives and functioning, and virtually two-thirds of the respondents mentioned governments are not doing sufficient to guard them from climate change.

“It’s shocking to hear how so many young people from around the world feel betrayed by those who are supposed to protect them,” Liz Marks, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom and co-lead creator of the examine, mentioned in a press release. “Now is the time to face the truth, listen to young people, and take urgent action against climate change.”



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