Consumers Rank Climate Concerns Ahead of Economy
Consumers around the world want governments to stop haggling and start acting on climate change, survey finds • Nearly half of all 12,000 respondents in 12 countries chose climate change ahead of the economy
Consumers around the world want governments to stop haggling and start acting on climate change, according to a survey carried out in 12 countries by a coalition of climate groups.Despite the looming prospect of a deep global recession, 43% of the 12,000 respondents of the survey chose climate change ahead of the global economy when asked about their current concerns. Worldwide, 77% of respondents wanted to see their governments cutting carbon by their fair share or more, in order to allow developing countries to grow their economies.
The survey was carried out for the HSBC Climate Partnership, a collaboration between the international bank and climate NGOs including WWF, the Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Lord Stern, and adviser to HSBC on economic development and climate change and former adviser to the UK government, said: "This research demonstrates the need for decisive action on climate change. The urgent challenge is to build a framework for a global deal so that consensus can be reached in Copenhagen next year and the discussions in Poznan are a critical stepping stone to achieving this. Now is the time to lay the foundations of a new form of growth that can transform our economies and societies."
The results of the group's climate confidence monitor are based on an internet questionnaire presented to to 1,000 people each in 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, UK and the US. The survey was conducted between mid-September and early October 2008.
Even in many emerging countries, people said their governments must reduce greenhouse gases - 62% of respondents in China said they should reduce emissions and only 4% said the country's emissions should be allowed to increase. In Mexico and Brazil, more than 80% wanted emissions cuts that tallied with their fair share of global targets - as high a level as in developed countries. In the USA, 72% of people said their country should reduce emissions by at least as much as other countries.
David Nussbaum, the chief executive of WWF-UK, said: "The current global economic crisis is a stark reminder of the consequences of living beyond our means. As the world looks to restore its economies we must build in long-term environmental as well as economic sustainability."
Steve Howard, chief executive of the Climate Group, a coalition of businesses and governments aimed at moving towards a low-carbon economy, said the survey showed that "politicians have the political will of the people behind them to come to an agreement on climate change. Politicians now have the support they need to seize this historic opportunity and secure a global deal on climate change."