The largest global survey on climate change ever conducted has found that 64 percent of people believe that it is an “emergency” and must be addressed urgently, but just 10 percent believe world leaders are doing enough.
The People’s Climate Vote surveyed 1.2 million people in 50 countries using ads in 17 prominent mobile gaming apps. Respondents represent 56 percent of the world’s people over the age of 14, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which worked with pollsters at the University of Oxford to conduct the survey. The results were published on Wednesday.
The survey found that in every country, younger people felt more strongly that climate change is an emergency than older people, with 69 percent of those under the age of 18 saying so. But about two-thirds of those aged 18 to 59 also recognise it as an emergency, as well as 58 percent of those over the age of 60.
Of categories of countries surveyed, the highest level of support (74 percent) for urgent climate action came from small island developing states, followed by high-income countries (72 percent), middle-income countries (62 percent), and least developed countries (58 percent).
Respondents were also asked to rank policy to address climate change by importance. Conserving forests and land came in at the top (54 percent), followed by the need for more solar, wind and renewable power (53 percent), adopting climate-friendly farming techniques (52 percent) and investing more in green businesses and jobs (50 percent).
Of the people who believe that climate change is an emergency, 59 percent said that the world should do everything possible to respond to the crisis while 20 percent said the world should act slowly. Just 10 percent said world leaders are already doing enough to address climate change.
The data also reveals a direct link between a person’s level of education and calls for climate action. People with post-secondary education are more likely to say climate change is deserving of immediate action whether they are in low-income countries such as Bhutan (82 percent) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (82 percent) – or wealthy countries like France (87 percent) and Japan (82 percent).