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Global survey reveals ‘truly astonishing’ consensus for stronger climate action
Climate Action
Photo Courtesy: UNICEF/Pham Ha Duy Linh

Global survey reveals ‘truly astonishing’ consensus for stronger climate action

| @indiablooms | 21 Jun 2024, 05:38 pm

The overwhelming majority of people around the world want an end to geopolitical differences when it comes to fighting climate change, the results of a landmark public opinion poll conducted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has shown.

Peoples’ Climate Vote 2024, the biggest ever standalone public opinion survey on climate change, also showed that 80 per cent of the respondents support more ambitious climate action.

“The Peoples’ Climate Vote is loud and clear,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. 

“Global citizens want their leaders to transcend their differences, to act now and to act boldly to fight the climate crisis.”

The second edition of the survey polled communities around the world on how nations are tackling climate change that is triggering extreme weather, flooding, and temperature spikes across the planet, affecting countries large and small.

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‘Truly astonishing’ consensus

The UNDP chief said the survey results “reveal a level of consensus that is truly astonishing”.

“We urge leaders and policymakers to take note, especially as countries develop their next round of climate action pledges – or ‘nationally determined contributions (NDCs)’ under the Paris Agreement,” Mr. Steiner said. 

“This is an issue that almost everyone, everywhere can agree on.”

Quick transition to clean energy

Conducted with Oxford University and GeoPoll, the survey polled more than 75,000 people speaking 87 different languages across 77 countries with 15 questions on climate change.

The results offer a country-by-country snapshot of where the world’s citizens stand, including on moving towards sustainability.

A majority of people in 62 of the 77 countries surveyed said they supported a quick transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Climate anxiety

People across the world also reported that climate change was on their minds.

Globally, 56 per cent said they were thinking about it daily or weekly, including some 63 per cent of those from least developed countries (LDCs).

More than half of people globally said they were more worried than last year about climate change. 

The corresponding figure was 59 per cent in LDCs, and up to 71 per cent across nine small island developing States (SIDS) expressed the same sentiment.

A total of 69 per cent of people surveyed said their big decisions like where to live or work were being impacted by climate change, with varied results across regions, from 74 per cent in least developed countries to 52 per cent in western and northern Europe and 42 per cent in North America.

The message is clear

At the global launch at UN Headquarters, in New York, Cassie Flynn, UNDP Global Director for Climate Change, said “the message is clear”, explaining what’s to come.

“As we move forward is to bring the voice of the people to the debate [on climate change],” she said.

“The next two years stand as one of the best chances we have as the international community to ensure that warming stays under 1.5°,” she said. “We stand ready to support policymakers in stepping up their efforts as they develop their climate action plans through our Climate Promise initiative.”

The first Peoples’ Climate Vote took place in 2021 and surveyed people across 50 countries through advertisements in popular mobile gaming apps. Click here for the results of that survey.

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