Global Public Agrees Climate Change Disproportionately Affects Poor People, Rich Countries Must Support Them to Deal with Effects of Climate Change  

Climate Change Disproportionately Affects Poor People

There is overwhelming global agreement that the effects of climate change disproportionately affect the poor and three-quarters of people around the world say that rich countries must support them to deal with the effects of climate change, according to a recent global poll by Business Fights Poverty and GlobeScan.

Key findings include:

  • Eighty-four percent agree that the poor will suffer most from the impact of climate change, with almost half strongly agreeing (46%) and 38 percent somewhat agreeing. Public opinion has held steadyon this issue between 2020 and 2022, among 26 countries consistently tracked.
  • While there is strong consensus across all countries and territories surveyed that poor people will suffer the most from the impact of climate change, Egyptians (94%), Brazilians (93%), and Peruvians (93%) are the most likely to agree. People in the USA are instead the least likely to agree (74%), followed by people in Australia (77%), Hong Kong (78%), and China (79%).
  • Seventy-seven percent of people globally agree that rich countries must pay for poorer countries to deal with climate change, with 31 percent strongly agreeing and 46 percent somewhat agreeing. The older people are, the more likely they are to agree.
  • Majorities in all countries and territories surveyed agree that rich countries must pay for poorer countries to deal with climate change, although most of the largest economies in the world are less likely than average to agree, including USA (58%), Germany (71%), and the UK (71%).  
  • Agreement that rich countries must pay for poorer countries to deal with climate change is strongest in Egypt (94%), Portugal (94%), and Vietnam (93%).

Chris Coulter, CEO, GlobeScan said: “The world clearly believes in a just transition – people in all continents think that the poor are disproportionately impacted by climate change and that wealthy countries should pay poorer countries to manage the effects.”

Zahid Torres-Rahman, CEO, Business Fights Poverty said: “Climate change is affecting us all, but the most severe impacts are being felt by the most vulnerable people. There is strong global support for putting people at the heart of climate action.”

The research reveals that there is global awareness and recognition of the injustice of poor people suffering the most from climate change, as well as broad global support for advancing loss and damage financing as part of the COP27 outcomes.  

Methodology Summary

The GlobeScan Radar survey is a global survey conducted online among samples of 1,000 adults in each of 31 countries and territories (500 each in Hong Kong, Kenya, Nigeria, and Singapore, and 850 in Egypt), weighted to reflect general population census data. The research was conducted during June and July of 2022 with a total of 29,293 participants.

Participating markets include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam.

About Business Fights Poverty

Business Fights Poverty is a global business-led network that partners with companies to support the lives, livelihoods and access to learning of the most vulnerable people and communities.

We coordinate rapid collaborations that drive action, curate meaningful convenings to deepen relationships, and harness the collective learning of our community to unlock insights. Our work builds on more than 16 years’ experience bringing together leading international companies across multiple sectors and a global community of 35,000+ professionals from business, civil society and government.

Business Fights Poverty is a Founding UK B Corp and signatory to B Corp Net Zero 2030.

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