Seven in ten people anticipate climate change will have a “severe effect” in their area within the next ten years

And six in ten say their government is not working hard enough to tackle climate change according to an Ipsos Global Advisor poll of 31 countries.

This Ipsos study, released ahead of the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference, provides a new assessment on how people feel about climate change right now – focusing on what they see around them and what they think about actions being taken to address the challenges it brings.

Key findings:

  • A majority (57%) across 31 countries have already witnessed a severe impact of climate change where they live. For countries like Mexico, Brazil and Türkiye, this figure is as high as eight in ten.
  • 38% say it’s likely that, within the next 25 years, they will be displaced from their home due to the effects of climate change.
  • Six in ten (59%) say their government is not providing enough information about how they can make better choices on how to tackle climate change. And 63% are critical of their government’s efforts to keep them up-to-date on the potential impacts.
  • Broadly speaking, people are inclined to believe the media underestimates the impact of climate change (42%, versus 23% who say they exaggerate its effects).
  • Criticism is not confined to government and the media, however: 59% say businesses in their country are not working hard enough to tackle climate change and 71% say they use environmental claims without committing to real change.

Commenting on the findings, Lauren Demar, Ipsos Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of ESG, said:

As the world’s leaders gather at COP, this latest Ipsos research reveals a stark reality—with the majority of people not only witnessing the severe impacts of climate change but bracing for its escalation. A staggering seven in ten expect climate change will profoundly affect their local areas within the next decade.
Our research underscores a critical disconnect. There is a pervasive sentiment that both governments and businesses are not matching the public’s concerns with equivalent levels of action and transparency.

The IMPACT of Climate Change

Almost six in ten (57%) report a severe effect of climate change in the area where they live, but this varies greatly by country. Reported climate change impact is highest in Mexico (81%), Brazil (79%) and Türkiye (79%). Just two countries - Great Britain and Sweden - have less than two-fifths of people reporting severe effects (34% and 24% respectively). Looking across all 31 nations, it’s people in Latin America who are particularly concerned, with six of the top ten countries being from the region.

And looking ahead, the number expecting climate change to have a severe impact on their area over the next ten years stands at 71% (global country average). Six countries record eight in ten believing this – with the figure going up to nearly nine in ten (88%) in South Korea.

Extending the timeline, around two-fifths (38%) expect that they will be displaced from their home within the next 25 years, with the highest levels of concern in Türkiye (68%) and Brazil (61%). The least concerned countries are all European – in Great Britan, Poland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, the proportion expecting they will have to move stands at one in four or lower.

INFORMATION on Climate Change

On a global average, people don’t believe that the information available to them is enough to help them take the right steps. Faith in governments, businesses and the media seems to be lacking.

Six in ten global citizens say that governments and businesses in their country do not provide the right amount of information on climate change (59% and 61% respectively).

When it comes to the media, just 24% globally say they provide good representation about the impacts, with 42% believing they underestimate its effects and 23% saying they exaggerate what climate change will mean. Here again, the context varies considerably by country. In Latin America, there is quite a strong sense that the media underestimates the impact. Meanwhile, there is a marked lack of consensus on the media’s portrayal of climate change in India, Netherlands, Australia, Germany and the United States.

Taking ACTION on Climate Change

A little over a third (36%) of citizens globally believe their government is working hard to tackle climate change. In 21 out of the 31 countries, over half the population say that their government is not working hard enough, or even doing anything at all, to fight climate change.

In Argentina, as few as 9% of citizens think their government is working hard on the issue. People in Peru (13%) and Japan (19%) also give their administrations low marks.

Confidence in businesses’ efforts to tackle climate change is also low, with 32% saying they work hard but 59% saying they aren’t doing enough.

Globally, 71% think that businesses use environmental claims without committing to real change at least occasionally, including 37% who say they do this frequently or all the time. This latter figure rises to 48% in Britain.

This being said, citizens also feel that they themselves are not doing enough to combat climate change. Three-fifths (59%) say people in their country are not working hard enough, or at all, with those in LATAM particularly critical – Peru (79%), followed by Argentina (77%) and Colombia (77%).

About this study

These are the results of a 31-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform and, in India, on its IndiaBus platform, between Friday, September 22 and Friday, October 6, 2023. For this survey, Ipsos interviewed a total of 24,220 adults aged 18 years and older in India, 18-74 in Canada, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Türkiye, and the United States, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in Indonesia and Singapore, and 16-74 in all other countries.

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