Trumping climate problems, threat of war: YouGov poll

Trumping climate problems, threat of war: YouGov poll


Government action to curb global warming should be a top concern despite inflation, the energy crisis and Russia’s nuclear saber-rattling, according to a YouGov poll of wealthy countries published exclusively by AFP.

Conducted ahead of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the poll found that more than half of respondents in France, Britain, Italy, Spain, Germany and the United States said that curbing global warming is independent of a should be “important priority” of the state of the economy.

Thirty percent said it should be “paused” to allow other issues to be addressed.

“This survey shows that there is much more common ground among the public when it comes to climate change and what needs to be done about it than what we often see on our TV screens and Twitter feeds,” said Luke Tryl, UK Director by More in Common, a non-profit organization that studies polarization in society.

However, the survey also found different outlooks among the six nations, which could indicate that people in wealthy economies, which are hardest hit by climate impacts, see the issue as more pressing, compared to wealthy countries that are less affected.

More than 60 percent of respondents in France, Spain and Italy said tackling global warming should not give way to other issues, but just under 40 percent in Germany, Britain and the United States shared this view.

– “Lack of trust” in politicians –

Germany and Britain have experienced episodes of flooding and extreme heat, but the Mediterranean basin — a climate change “hotspot” according to the United Nations IPCC’s climate science advisory panel — has been hit by heatwaves, droughts and wildfires, all of which are predicted to worsen.

Two to three times as many respondents in each country said climate change will harm the world “a lot” in the future compared to whether they personally would suffer harm.

This may reflect the extent to which people in rich countries are protected from severe impacts.

When respondents were asked if they had personally experienced weather events caused by climate change, 48 to 58 percent in Spain, Italy and France said they had, compared to 44, 38 and 36 percent in Britain, the United Kingdom States and Germany.

The United States was an outlier in several respects in the survey, which polled between 1,000 and 2,000 people in each country.

Despite a surge in extreme weather events measurably linked to warming in the United States — including intense drought in the Southwest, record-breaking wildfires in the Northwest, floods and drought in the Midwest, and devastating hurricanes on the East Coast — barely half of Americans think human activities have changed the Earth’s climate.

This figure rises to an average of almost 80 percent in European countries and 84 and 88 percent in Spain and Italy respectively.

Opinions in the United States on this question were evenly distributed across age, gender, and self-identified race, but were highly skewed by political affiliation.

More than 80 percent of those who voted for President Joe Biden in 2020 said global warming was man-made, in contrast to just a quarter of those who voted for Donald Trump, who this week announced he would run again in the White House in 2024 .

People everywhere said political leaders weren’t doing enough to fix the climate, the poll showed.

“There is a shared lack of confidence in their national government’s ability to handle this crisis,” Tryl said.

– Protection of future generations –

Nearly 40 percent of respondents said government action to reduce carbon emissions would have a “positive impact” in the long term, with just 14 percent saying such action would improve things in the short term.

About 90 percent of all respondents said they believed the climate was changing, while the rest said it wasn’t or didn’t know.

When asked if they are confident that their governments are “ready to take the necessary action to stop climate change,” two-thirds of respondents in European countries who believe the climate is changing answered “no.” “. In the US it was 40 percent.

“Politicians don’t necessarily keep up,” said Amiera Sawas, program and research director at Climate Outreach in the UK, who works with survey data.

By far the most common reason for taking action to combat climate change was to protect future generations, with between 40 and 50 percent stating this as a motive.

Protecting habitats and species from further damage was the second most common answer.

Following COP27, a UN Biodiversity Summit will be held in Canada in early December to set new goals for conservation.

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