Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Britons least concerned about climate change

Britain is less concerned about climate change than any other country in the world, according to a new survey.

Published: 9:00AM GMT 02 Nov 2009
The annual Climate Confidence Monitor found the number of people worrying about global warming worldwide has fallen by eight per cent to just over a third in the last year as the economic downturn kicked in.
Just fifteen per cent of people in Britain worry about climate change and how the world responds to the problem, the lowest figure for any of the 12 countries surveyed. The figure is down from 26 per cent last year. In the US 18 per cent of people said global warming was one of their biggest concerns followed by 22 per cent in Australia.

In general people in developing countries are more concerned about climate change, with more than half of people in Mexico citing the issue as a major problem and 42 per cent in Brazil and India.
Britain was also the most pessimistic about the world's ability to tackle climate change, with almost half believing nothing can be done compared to 38 per cent worldwide.
However, people still believe that action should be taken. On average, almost half of people say they are taking some action to reduce their carbon footprint such as switching off lights, walking rather than driving or recycling. This is a rise of seven per cent since 2007.
In the run up the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, nearly two thirds of people in the world think a global deal to cut emissions is important. The US, the world's second largest emitter, was the only country where less than half the population thought world needed to take action compared to 86 per cent in Brazil and 75 per cent in China - the world's biggest emitter.
The report, that has been running for three years, questions 1,000 people in each country.
HSBC, that commissioned the study, said despite the recession people remain concerned about climate change and are more determined than ever to do something to tackle the problem.
Lord Stern, the former World Bank economist who first warned the British Government about climate change, said the meeting in Copenhagen was a chance for people from all countries to make a difference.
"With just over a month to go before Copenhagen, this is a clear call from the global population for a strong and effective deal," he said. "Rich and developing countries must act together to create an agreement that will lay the foundations for a future era of dynamic low-carbon growth.”