According to a. Concerns about climate change are growing among people in several large economies Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday It found that 72 percent of respondents feared climate change would harm them personally at some point in their lives.
The survey, which included more than 16,000 people from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, represented people’s views of the threats posed by climate change, their willingness to make personal sacrifices to counter it, and their perceptions of international efforts to contain the global Warming.
The survey was conducted in the spring, but its release comes after a series of extreme weather events – from devastating floods in Germany, China and the United States to sultry heat waves in the northern hemisphere – that have struck several continents in recent months.
In most countries, there has been a sharp increase in those who said they were “very concerned” that climate change will affect them personally in their lives.
In Germany, for example, 18 percent of people said they were “very worried” in 2015, compared to 37 percent this year. Australia saw a similar increase, with 34 percent of people saying they are “very concerned” about climate change, up 16 points from 2015.
Only Japan saw a significant decrease in those very concerned about climate change. Pew researchers found an 8 point decrease to 26 percent from 2015.
In the US, these views have not changed significantly since 2015, it said.
Public concern about climate change will be a major driver of negotiations between nations at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in November, where leaders are expected to set aggressive emissions targets to keep global warming in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement to fight.
The Pew report found that 80 percent of respondents are willing to change the way they live and work to reduce the effects of climate change. However, ratings of the current efforts have been more mixed. Only 56 percent of those questioned answered that society was doing “very” or “fairly well” in dealing with global warming.
The survey also found ideological differences in people’s willingness to make personal sacrifices for climate change. The left, in general, were more willing to adapt their lifestyle to lessen the effects of global warming. 94 percent of those who identify with the ideological left in the US said they would be willing to make “some” or “many” changes in the way they work and live, compared to 45 percent who identify with the ideological right.
Similar differences were found in Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands, although the largest ideological divide existed between people in the United States
The survey participants included the United States, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.
In the study, younger people tended to be more concerned about global warming than older adults. In the United States, 71 percent of 18-29 year olds were “very” or “somewhat concerned” that climate change would affect them personally in their lifetime, compared with 52 percent of those 65 and over.
Similar age group differences were found in Australia, New Zealand, France and Canada. The largest age difference was found in Sweden, where 65 percent of 18-29 year olds expressed concerns about being personally affected by climate change, compared with just 25 percent of adults aged 65 and over.
Youth activists have led climate protests around the world, urging leaders to take more aggressive action to combat global warming. But while young people are an integral part of the solution, they are also among the hardest hit by climate change.
A separate one Preprint study under examination by the Lancet Planetary Health Journal Linked government inaction on climate change to psychological distress and climate anxiety among young people. In this survey, in which 10,000 children and young people from 10 countries took part, 74 percent of those questioned said that “the future is scary”.
Forty-five percent of young people in the study said that climate fear and distress were affecting their daily lives and functioning, and nearly two-thirds of respondents said governments are not doing enough to protect them from climate change.
“It is shocking to hear so many young people around the world feel betrayed by those who are supposed to be protecting them,” said Liz Marks, professor of psychology at the University of Bath in the UK and co-lead author of the study. said in a statement. “Now is the time to face the truth, listen to young people and take urgent action against climate change.”