68% think government and businesses need to act now or risk failing future generations
Just 39% agree that their government has a clear plan in place to tackle climate change
Climate change sits 8th on a list of concerns for the public
While climate change may not regularly be on people’s minds, it is not unrecognized. Seven in 10 (68%) are concerned about the impacts already being seen in their country, especially in South Africa and Chile, while a similar proportion (70%) worry about effects already seen in other countries.
The public believe there is a shared responsibility among government (77%), businesses (76%) and individuals (74%) to tackle climate change. Some business sectors are seen as having a greater responsibility for reducing their contribution to climate change – particularly energy companies (82%), car manufacturers (80%), airlines (77%) and public transport providers (77%).
The public recognise that the onus to reduce carbon emissions sits firmly on the shoulders of the individual. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed agree that individuals are responsible for reducing their contribution to climate change by reducing carbon emission. The highest proportions were in South Africa (87%), Colombia (86%), Peru (84%) and Chile (84%). However, this does not excuse governments and businesses from doing their part. 77% say a great deal/fair amount of responsibility lies with governments while 76% say the same for businesses.
While the responsibility of governments is recognised by many, few are aware of any actions being taken. Only 39% agree that their country’s government has a clear strategy to tackle climate change. There is little difference in countries who already have legally binding commitments to achieving net zero such as Great Britain (39%), France (34%), Hungary (29%) and Sweden (38%).
Dr. Pippa Bailey, Head of UK Climate Change & Sustainability Practice, Ipsos said: “Despite 7 in 10 people being concerned about the impact of climate change on our planet, for the majority of people globally there are other issues they feel are more pressing, such as their family’s health, war, financial concerns and the ongoing pandemic.
People know that they have to change their behaviours in order to address climate change, but if the issue isn’t at the top of their priorities, they are unlikely to do so, unless there is an incentive that aligns with other priorities i.e. saving money, and/or being better for the lives and wellbeing of their families. So, there are real opportunities for businesses and governments to provide additional incentives and messaging that will encourage change amongst consumers, but they must also recognise the need for change themselves. With 77% of people globally holding Government to account for the issue and 76% saying the same about businesses, it is clear that people expect to see real change, both in public policy and the private sectors.”
Methodology: Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 23,577 adults aged 16-74 in 30 different countries globally and 16-99 in Norway. Interviews were conducted using the Ipsos online panel system between 18 February – 4 March 2022. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population of this audience. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.
The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, mainland China, Chile, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States of America.
Earth Day 2022: few can correctly identify actions which are best at cutting carbon emissions
New research by Ipsos shows people around the world are not very likely to make environmentally friendly changes that would have the most impact on cutting carbon emissions. Less than half say they are likely to make changes such as eating fewer dairy products (41%), eating less meat (44%), changing their household heating system to a low carbon system (44%), despite these being some of the most effective ways in cutting carbon emissions.