Climate change a threat for two-thirds of people

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A broad majority of people feel threatened by climate change, according to an international survey.

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s 1.2 million respondents in 50 nations said the world faces a climate emergency, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) and Britain’s Oxford University. They fear increasing heat waves, droughts, torrential rains and storms. This survey, the largest ever conducted by the United Nations, polled people of different age groups, where more than half of the world’s population lives. According to the researchers, the results suggest that climate movements like Fridays for Future (FFF) continue to gain momentum despite the Corona crisis. “Concern about the climate emergency is much more widespread than we previously knew,” said Oxford University sociologist Stephen Fisher. “And the vast majority of those who recognize a climate emergency want urgent and comprehensive action.”

According to the study, people in Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan were particularly concerned about climate change impacts, with 80 percent of respondents there expressing concern about more severe heat waves, droughts, torrential rains and storms. France, Germany, South Africa and Canada were close behind in the survey. There, more than three-quarters of respondents described the threat as a “global emergency.”

This view met with the least approval among citizens from poorer countries (58 percent) and among people over 60 (slightly less than 60 percent). Women overall were slightly more concerned about global warming than men.

“Urgent climate action has broad support among people around the globe – across nationalities, age, gender and education,” said UNDP chief Achim Steiner. “But even more than that, the survey shows what people want their policymakers to do to address the crisis,” he added.

Respondents cited protecting forests and natural habitats as the most common solution to combat climate change. This option was selected by 54 percent of all respondents. Other frequently selected suggestions included promoting renewable energy and using climate-friendly techniques in agriculture. The suggestion to promote a meat-free diet received the least support.

  • source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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