Survey reveals public doubts about climate action before UN summit

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The new poll reflects widespread doubts among people in 17 advanced economies about whether China and the US – the world’s two biggest carbon emitters – will take meaningful steps to fight climate change.

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why it matters: NS pew research center survey Released more than six weeks ahead of a crucial UN climate summit, public skepticism appears to be over whether multilateral talks will be successful in tackling the problem.

  • The survey also found that most citizens give their countries a moderately positive grade on their handling of climate change.

how it works: The survey was conducted from March 12 to May 26 among 16,254 adults in Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. . Voting took place on February 1-7, 2021 of 2,596 adults in the US.

  • The voting has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 to 4.4 percentage points for other countries and 2.5 percentage points for the US.

description: The EU’s climate change response is viewed favorably by citizens of most of the economies surveyed.

  • The United Nations, where Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is rallying countries to reduce emissions, receives high marks, with an average of 56% of respondents viewing its efforts favorably.

yes but: In a yellow light for the climate summit in Glasgow, an average of 52% of the public in advanced economies – which collectively account for most of the world’s historic emissions – say they lack confidence that a multilateral response will be successful. While 46% are optimistic that nations can respond to climate change through international cooperation.

  • Respondents in France, Sweden and Belgium are the most skeptical of the multilateral approach, while South Korea and Singapore have the highest optimism.
  • In only 12 of the 17 countries studied, half or more think their societies have done a good job of tackling the climate challenge, with more than 1 in 10 doing such work in just five countries, including New Zealand and In “Very good”. UK
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Intrigue: Least trust is reserved for the biggest emitters – the US and China.

  • China almost universally gets poor marks for its climate efforts, with an average of 78% among 17 public in the survey describing the country’s handling of climate change as “poor” to “very poor”. . This compares to 61% with a similar decision in the US.

Our thought bubble: Skepticism of a multilateral response to warming is understandable. The climate summit is the 26th such meeting since the UN climate treaty came into force in 1994, and emissions have only increased, while the effects of warming have increased dramatically.


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