STOCKHOLM, Sept: Concerns about climate change, its long-term effects and political counteractionsare among the key issues addressed by respondents to a Global Challenges Foundation survey to understand public views on climate change, poverty and armed conflicts. India respondents joined eight other countries in participation, coming to agreement that climate change is a threat to mankind and both political and personal actions to counteract its effects are necessary.
In today’s release, the Global Challenges Foundation provides acomparative, international look at public views on climate change among nine countries: the United States, Brazil, China, Russia, Poland, Germany, India, South Africa and Sweden. Over 1,000 online surveys were conducted in each country, commissioned in February 2014. Of respondents in India, 82% definitively believe that climate change is a severe threat to mankind, with 92% marking human activity primarily in the form of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation as the main reason for global warming.
“This survey was commissioned by the Global Challenges Foundation to provide insights on a global scale of how the public views changes in our environment and what solutions may be necessary to address them,” said Johan Rockström, Professor in Environmental Science and board member of the foundation. “The results of this survey provide a surprisingly strong signal to world leaders that they have a mandate from citizens across the world to act, and furthermore that there is a willingness among individuals to make considerable personal sacrifices today, in order to avoid future climate catastrophes.”
Overall, respondents in Indiaare highly concerned about climate change and are supportive of both political and individual measure to counteract:
•Climate change is a severe threat to mankind. 82% of respondents from India definitely believe that climate change is a severe threat to mankind, with an additional 16% categorizing climate change as a possible severe threat. 92% mark human activity primarily in the form of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation as the main reasonfor global warming, with only 5% marking natural variations not affected by human beings as the primary cause.
•Not enough is being done politically to counteract climate change. In agreement with respondents from the U.S.,Brazil, Poland, Germany, South Africa and Sweden, respondents from India do not believe that enough is being done politically to counteract climate change in order to eliminate the risk of extreme climate catastrophes; 20% definitely believe enough is not being done, with 33% relaying that enough is probably not being done. As a corrective measure, 66% of respondents from India definitely think that mandatory international decisions should be made against climate change.
•Individuals are willing to sacrifice to prevent extreme climate catastrophes. India respondents are, together with South Africa, most willing to sacrifice to prevent extreme climate catastrophes of all responding countries. 68% of respondents from Indiadefinitely believe that extreme climate catastrophes (which might not occur for several centuries) should try to be prevented even if it requires considerable sacrifices from us today, with 27% responding that such catastrophes should maybe be prevented.
About the Global Challenges FoundationThe Global Challenges Foundation was founded in Sweden in the end of 2011 by investorLászlóSzombatfalvy. Since the beginning of 2013, Margot Wallström, former EU Commissioner and Swedish Government Minister, and Johan Rockström, Executive Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre and Professor in Environmental Science at Stockholm University, have joined the Board. Margot Wallström is the official spokesperson of the foundation.