Climate change opinion by country

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United States, Europe, and Australia are the darkest while Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania are the lightest.
Proportion who reported knowing "something" or a "great deal" about global warming. Darker areas indicate a greater proportion of individuals aware, yellow indicates no data.
Latin America and Japan are the darkest while the remainder are either much lighter or mixed.
Proportion responding yes when asked, "Temperature rise is part of global warming or climate change. Do you think rising temperatures are [...] a result of human activities?"
The Americas, Europe, Australia, Kenya and Japan are the darkest. The remainder much lighter.
Proportion responding in 2008–09 that global warming was a serious personal threat.

Climate change opinion is the aggregate of public opinion held by the adult population. Cost constraints often restrict surveys to sample only one or two countries from each continent or focus on only one region. Because of differences among questions, wording, and methods—it is difficult to reliably compare results or to generalize them to opinions held worldwide.

In 2007–2008, the Gallup Poll surveyed individuals from 128 countries in the first comprehensive study of global opinions. The Gallup Organization aggregated opinion from the adult population fifteen years of age and older, either through the telephone or personal interviews, and in both rural and urban areas except in areas where the safety of interviewer was threatened and in scarcely populated islands. Personal interviews were stratified by population size or geography and cluster sampling was achieved through one or more stages. Although error bounds vary, they were all below ±6% with 95% confidence.

Weighting countries to a 2008 World Bank population estimate, sixty-one percent of individuals worldwide were aware of global warming, developed countries more aware than developing, with Africa the least aware. The median of people perceiving it as a threat was 47%. Latin America and developed countries in Asia led the belief that climate change was a result of human activities, while Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle East, and countries from the Former Soviet Union led in the opposite. Awareness often translates to concern, although of those aware, individuals in Europe and developed countries in Asia perceived global warming as a greater threat than others.

Views on Climate Change by Region[edit]

Africa[edit]

People in Africa are relatively concerned about climate change compared to the Middle East and parts of Asia. However, they are less concerned than most of Latin America and Europe. Currently, 61% of people in Africa consider climate change to be a very serious problem, and 52% believe that climate change is harming people now. While 59% of Africans are worried about droughts or water shortages, only 16% are concerned about severe weather, and 3% are concerned about rising sea levels.[1] Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are especially troubled about increasing desertification even as they account for .04% of global carbon dioxide emissions.[2] In Sub-Saharan Africa, the concern over climate change drops to only 34% of the population considering climate change to be a "very" or "somewhat serious issue".[3] Even so, according to the Pew Research Center 2015 Global Attitudes Survey, some particular countries are more concerned than others. In Uganda 76% of people, 68% in Ghana, 45% in South Africa and 40% in Ethiopia consider climate change to be a very serious problem.[1]

Latin America[edit]

Latin America has a larger percentage of people concerned with climate change than other regions of the world. 74% consider climate change to be a serious problem and 77% say that it is harming people now which is 20 points higher than the global median according to the Pew Research Center.[1] 63% of people in Latin America are very concerned that climate change will harm them personally.[1] When looked at more specifically, Mexico and Central America are the most worried at 81.5% believing that climate change is a very serious issue. South America is slightly less anxious at 75% and the Caribbean, at the relatively high rate of 66.7%, is the least concerned.[4] Brazil is an important country in global climate change politics because it is the eleventh largest emitter and unlike other large emitter countries, 86% consider global warming to be a very serious problem.[1][5] Compared to the rest of the world, Latin America is more consistently concerned with high percentages of the population worried about climate change. Further, in Latin America, 67% believe in personal responsibility for climate change and say that people will have to make major lifestyle modifications.[1]

Europe[edit]

Europeans have a tendency to be more concerned about climate change than much of the world, with the exception of Latin America. However there is a divide between Eastern Europe, where people are less worried about climate change, and Western Europe. In Europe, there is a range from 97% to 88% of people feeling that climate change is happening and similar ranges are present for agreeing that climate change is caused by human activity and that the impacts of it will be bad.[5] Generally Eastern European countries are slightly less likely to believe in climate change, or the dangers of it, with 63% saying it is very serious, 24% considering it to be fairly serious and only 10% saying it is not a serious problem.[6] When asked if they feel a personal responsibility to help reduce climate change, on a scale of 0, not at all, to 10, a great deal, Europeans respond with the average score of 5.6.[5] When looked at more specifically, Western Europeans are closer to the response of 7 while Eastern European countries respond with an average of less than 4. When asked if Europeans are willing to pay more for climate change, 49% are willing, however only 9% of Europeans have already switched to a greener energy supply.[6] Thus, while a large majority of Europeans believe in the dangers of climate change, their feelings of personal responsibility to deal with the issue are much more limited. Especially in terms of actions that could already have been taken - such as having already switched to greener energies discussed above - one can see Europeans' feelings of personal responsibility are limited.

Asia/Pacific[edit]

Asia and the Pacific have a tendency to be less concerned about climate change, except small island states, with developing countries in Asia being less concerned than developed countries. In Asia and the Pacific, around 45% of people believe that climate change is a very serious problem and similarly 48% believe that it is harming people now.[1] Only 37% of people in Asia and the Pacific are very concerned that climate change will harm them personally.[1] There is a large gap between developing Asia and developed Asia. Only 31% of developing Asia considers global warming to be a "very" or "somewhat" serious threat and 74% of developed Asia considers global warming to be a serious threat.[3] It could be argued that one reason for this is that people in more developed countries in Asia are more educated on the issues, especially given that developing countries in Asia do face significant threats from climate change. The most relevant views on climate change are those of the citizens in the countries that are emitting the most. For example, in China, the world's largest emitter,[7] 68% of Chinese people are satisfied with their government's efforts to preserve the environment.[8] And in India, the world's third largest emitter,[7] 77% of Indian people are satisfied with their country's efforts to preserve the environment.[8]

Middle East[edit]

While the increasing severity of droughts and other dangerous realities are and will continue to be a problem in the Middle East, the region has one of the smallest rates of concern in the world. 38% believe that climate change is a very serious problem and 26% believe that climate change is harming people now.[1] Of the four Middle Eastern countries polled in a Pew Global Study, on what is their primary concern, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon named ISIS, and Turkey stated United States encroachment.[9] 38% of Israel considers climate change to be a major threat to their country, 40% of Jordan, 58% of Lebanon and 53% of Turkey.[9] This is compared to relatively high numbers of residents who believe that ISIS is a major threat to their country ranging from 63% to 97%. In the poll, 38% of the Middle East are concerned about drought and 19% are concerned about long periods of unusually hot weather.[1] 42% are satisfied with their own country's current efforts to preserve the environment.[8]

North America[edit]

North America has mixed perceptions on climate change ranging from Mexico and Canada that are both more concerned, and the United States, the world's second largest emitter,[7] that is less concerned. Mexico is the most concerned about climate change of the three countries in North America. 90% consider climate change to be a very serious problem and 83% believe that climate change is harming people substantially right now.[10] Canadians are also seriously concerned, 20% are extremely concerned, 30% are definitely concerned, 31% are somewhat concerned and only 19% are not very/not at all concerned about climate change.[11] While the United States which is the largest emitter of CO2 in North America and the second largest emitter of CO2 in the world[7] has the lowest degrees of concern about climate change in North America. While 61% of Americans say they are concerned about climate change,[12] that is 30% lower than Mexico and 20% lower than Canada. 41% believe that climate change could impact them personally. Nonetheless, 70% of Americans believe that environmental protections are more important than economic growth according to a Yale climate opinion study.[12]

Differences between regions[edit]

While climate change will affect the entire world, opinion differences between regions of the world about these affects vary significantly. The Middle East has one of the smallest rates of concern in the world, especially compared to Latin America.[1] Europe and Africa have mixed views on climate change but lean towards action by a significant degree. Europeans focus substantially on climate change when compared to United States residents, which are less concerned than the global median,[12] even as the United States is the second biggest emitter in the world.[7] Droughts/water shortages are one of the biggest fears about the impacts of climate change, especially in Latin America and Africa.[1] Developed countries in Asia have levels of concern about climate change similar to Latin America which has one of the highest rates of concern. This is surprising as developing countries in Asia have levels of worry similar to the Middle East, one of the areas with the lowest levels of concern.[3] Large emitters such as China usually ignore issues surrounding climate change as people in China have very low levels of concern about it.[3] The only significant exception to this tendency by large emitters, is Brazil. Brazil is eleventh biggest emitter in the world and is a country that has high levels of concern about climate change, levels similar to much of Latin America.[1][7]

Percentage in each region who agree with statements regarding climate change (in 2015)[1]
Region Climate change is a very serious problem Climate change is harming people now Very concerned that climate change will harm me personally
Africa 61% 52% 61%
Latin America 74% 77% 63%
Europe 54% 60% 27%
Asia/Pacific 45% 48% 37%
Middle East 38% 26% 27%
United States 45% 41% 30%
China 18% 49% 15%
Global Median 54% 51% 40%
Source: Pew Research Center's Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey - Q32, Q41 & Q42
Percentage of each country polled who agree with statement (in 2015)[1]
Country Climate change is a very serious problem
Canada 51%
U.S. 45%
France 56%
Italy 55%
Germany 55%
Spain 53%
UK 41%
Poland 19%
Russia 33%
Ukraine 29%
Lebanon 67%
Jordan 44%
Palestine 38%
Turkey 37%
Israel 24%
India 76%
Philippines 72%
Vietnam 69%
South Korea 48%
Japan 45%
Malaysia 44%
Australia 43%
Indonesia 41%
Pakistan 29%
China 18%
Brazil 86%
Chile 77%
Peru 75%
Venezuela 72%
Mexico 66%
Argentina 59%
Burkina Faso 79%
Uganda 76%
Ghana 68%
Kenya 62%
Nigeria 61%
Senegal 58%
Tanzania 57%
South Africa 45%
Ethiopia 40%
Source: Pew Research Center's Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey - Q32 

Developing countries vs developed countries[edit]

Awareness about climate change is higher in developed countries than in developing countries.[13] A large majority of people in Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria do not know about climate change, particularly in Muslim majority countries.[13] There is often awareness about environmental changes in developing countries, but the framework for understanding it is limited. In developing and developed countries, people similarly believe that poor countries have a responsibility to act on climate change.[13] Since the 2009 Copenhagen summit, concern over climate change in wealthy countries has gone down. In 2009, 63% of people in OECD member states considered climate change to be "very serious" but by 2015, it had gone down to 48%.[14] Support for national leadership creating further action addressing climate change has also gone down. Of the 21 countries surveyed in GlobeScan's 2015 survey, Canada, France, Spain and the UK are the only ones that have the majority of the population desiring their leadership to take further action to meet the emission targets set by the Paris climate accord.[14] While concern and desire for action has gone down in developed countries, awareness over it is higher. Since 2000, twice as many people will connect extreme weather events with human caused climate change.[14]

2007-2008 Gallup poll table[edit]

Knowing "something" or a "great deal" about global warming when asked "How much do you know about global warming or climate change?"
Caused by human activity 
Responding yes when asked, "Temperature rise is part of global warming or climate change. Do you think rising temperatures are [...] a result of human activities?" Note: the other answer option was "a result of natural causes," but respondents were also allowed to indicate "both" (or "no opinion"). People voting "both" are not included in the numbers.
Perceived as threat 
Responding that global warming is a serious personal threat.

Unless referenced otherwise, all data is from the 2007–2008 Gallup poll mentioned earlier.

Country Awareness Caused by
human activity
Perceived
as threat
 Afghanistan 25 29 27
 Algeria 56 54 46
 Angola 43 70 38
 Argentina 76 81 71
 Armenia 78 28 65
 Australia 97 46[15] 75
 Austria 95 51 54
 Azerbaijan 58 42 43
 Bangladesh 33 62 32
 Belarus 80 48 30
 Belgium 89 50 68
 Belize 53 59 45
 Benin 21 46 15
 Bolivia 55 73 51
 Botswana 38 26 30
 Brazil 79 80 76
 Burkina Faso 36 52 34
 Burundi 22 38 20
 Cambodia 58 34 51
 Cameroon 49 52 32
 Canada 95 61 74
 Central African Republic 56 58 37
 Chad 45 31 38
 Chile 73 78 69
 China 62 58 21
 Colombia 68 77 65
 Costa Rica 75 87 72
 Czech Republic 87 52 39
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 53 52 41
 Denmark 90 49 40
 Djibouti 43 62 35
 Dominican Republic 50 52 46
 Ecuador 70 81 69
 Egypt 25 60 21
 El Salvador 55 75 51
 Estonia 88 46 32
 Ethiopia 80 56 73
 Finland 98 53 39
 France 93 63 75
 Georgia 62 37 47
 Germany 96 59 60
 Ghana 26 51 19
 Greece 87 84 82
 Guatemala 57 72 51
 Guinea 55 40 43
 Guyana 67 36 56
 Haiti 46 38 35
 Honduras 62 58 57
 Hong Kong 93 78 54
 Hungary 93 65 75
 Iceland 95 38 33
 India 35 53 29
 Indonesia 39 55 33
 Iran 55 62 43
 Iraq 55 38 28
 Ireland 94 66 60
 Israel 86 63 62
 Italy 84 65 76
 Japan 99 91 80
 Jordan 62 53 51
 Kazakhstan 60 54 35
 Kenya 56 59 49
 Kyrgyzstan 52 42 39
 Laos 80 65 49
 Latvia 91 54 37
 Lebanon 64 64 54
 Liberia 15 41 13
 Lithuania 91 50 47
 Luxembourg 95 60 75
 Madagascar 49 67 46
 Malaysia 71 63 50
 Mali 53 72 48
 Malta 75 68 64
 Mauritania 44 48 35
 Mexico 67 71 63
 Moldova 83 48 73
 Mongolia 75 54 30
 Morocco 30 68 29
 Mozambique 54 53 48
 Namibia 46 49 35
   Nepal 37 48 32
 Netherlands 96 44 57
 Nicaragua 53 66 49
 Niger 24 35 21
 Nigeria 28 27 18
 Norway 97 47 43
 Pakistan 34 25 24
 Palestine 67 50 55
 Panama 65 73 61
 Paraguay 58 79 54
 Peru 62 72 58
 Philippines 47 72 42
 Poland 84 58 54
 Portugal 90 79 85
 Qatar 64 39 43
 Republic of the Congo 41 58 31
 Romania 81 60 66
 Russia 85 52 39
 Rwanda 30 44 22
 Saudi Arabia 49 39 40
 Senegal 36 27 33
 Sierra Leone 36 31 24
 Singapore 84 44 59
 South Africa 31 29 21
 South Korea 93 92 80
 Spain 85 71 69
 Sri Lanka 73 63 65
 Sudan 47 69 42
 Sweden 96 64 56
 Syria 56 54 41
 Taiwan 91 70 70
 Tajikistan 43 81 19
 Tanzania 53 15 48
 Thailand 88 55 61
 Togo 29 43 23
 Trinidad and Tobago 72 76 71
 Tunisia 60 50 46
 Turkey 74 70 66
 Uganda 35 66 30
 Ukraine 79 51 52
 United Kingdom 97 48 69
 United States 97 49 63
 Uruguay 73 75 68
 Uzbekistan 53 18 38
 Venezuela 63 65 62
 Vietnam 73 49 53
 Zambia 27 43 18
 Zimbabwe 52 41 36
Average 63 55 47

See also[edit]

Public opinion on global warming

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Stokes, Bruce; Wike, Richard (November 5, 2018). "Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey". Pew Research Center.
  2. ^ Fleshman, Michael (July 2007). "Climate change: Africa gets ready". Africa Renewal Online.
  3. ^ a b c d Pugliese, Anita; Ray, Julie (April 20, 2011). "Fewer Americans, Europeans View Global Warming as a Threat". Gallup.
  4. ^ Evans, Claire Q.; Zechmeister, Elizabeth J. (January 25, 2018). "Education and Risk Assessments Predict Climate Change Concerns in Latin America and the Caribbean" (PDF). Vanderbilt.
  5. ^ a b c Poortinga, Wouter; Stephen, Fisher (September 2018). "European Attitudes to Climate Change and Energy: Topline Results from Round 8 of the European Social Survey" (PDF). City, University of London.
  6. ^ a b "Europeans' attitudes towards climate change" (PDF). European Commission: Special Eurobarometer. November 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Each Country's Share of CO2 Emissions". Union of Concerned Scientists. October 11, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Crabtree, Steve (September 9, 2018). "Six in 10 Worldwide OK With Efforts to Preserve Environment". Gallup.
  9. ^ a b Poushter, Jacob; Manevich, Dorothy (August 1, 2017). "Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats" (PDF). Pew Research Center.
  10. ^ "Public attitudes toward climate change: findings from a multi-country poll" (PDF). World Development Report 2010. December 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "Canadian public opinion about climate change" (PDF). David Suzuki Foundation. 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Marlon, Jennifer (August 7, 2018). "Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2018". Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
  13. ^ a b c Leiserowitz, Anthony (2007). "International Public Opinion, Perception, and Understanding of Global Climate Change" (PDF). Human Development Report.
  14. ^ a b c "Wealthy Countries Less Concerned about Climate Change: Global Poll". Globescan. 26 November 2015.
  15. ^ "CSIRO survey: Most Coalition voters reject humans to blame for climate change". 2015-11-03.

Further reading[edit]