From The Guardian (Damian Carrington):
The biggest ever opinion poll on climate change has found two-thirds of people think it is a “global emergency”.
The survey shows people across the world support climate action and gives politicians a clear mandate to take the major action needed, according to the UN organisation that carried out the poll.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) questioned 1.2 million people in 50 countries, many of them young.
While younger people showed the greatest concern, with 69% of those aged 14-18 saying there is a climate emergency, 58% of those over 60 agreed, suggesting there is not a huge generational divide.
Even when climate action required significant changes in their own country, majorities still backed the measures.
In nations where fossil fuels are a major source of emissions, people strongly supported renewable energy, including the US (65% in favour), Australia (76%) and Russia (51%).
“If 64% of the world’s people are believing in a climate emergency then it helps governments to respond to the climate crisis as an emergency.
“The key message is that, as governments are making these high-stakes decisions, the people are with them.”
Flynn said the survey connects the climate concerns of people, particularly the young, with governments at a time when accelerated action must be agreed, in particular at a UN climate summit in November. The climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record…
The poll found the highest proportion of people saying there is a climate emergency was in the UK and Italy, both at 81%. Australia was at 72% and the US at 65%, the same as Russia, and India was at 59%. Even the lowest proportion, in Moldova, was 50%…
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.
The poll found that the more education a person had completed, the more likely they were to think there is a climate emergency. Why more women and girls are more concerned in the four English-speaking nations is unclear.
The poll was distributed via advertisements in video games and puzzles, including Angry Birds, Subway Surfers, Sudoku and Words With Friends, and this particularly helped reach younger people.
The idea came to Flynn when she was on the subway in New York City: “I looked around and everyone was on their phones and most were playing games.”
The data was collected between October and December 2020 and, despite the coronavirus pandemic, 59% of the people saying there is a climate emergency also said the world should “do everything necessary and urgently” in response.