It is often asserted that a responsible approach towards the environment is a luxury that emerging economies—with large proportions of their populations often remaining in poverty—are unable to afford, and that their top priority must be economic growth, whatever the cost.
However, GlobeScan’s and SustainAbility‘s most recent survey of global consumers, conducted in collaboration with National Geographic, shows that those in emerging economies are even more likely than their developed-world peers to reject the notion that environmental responsibility and economic prosperity are mutually exclusive.
The survey among consumers across 17 countries asked them to say whether they thought a Green Economy would be more or less effective than today’s economy in addressing a range of environmental and social challenges—and found that, globally, consumers thought a Green Economy would be more effective in all areas except for the creation of low-paying jobs.
Consumers in emerging economies are much more optimistic about the overall impact of a Green Economy than those in industrialized countries—particularly on “improving quality of life.” In those emerging economies, net expectations of the Green Economy’s effectiveness at “improving quality of life” are nearly 20 points higher than in developed economies. Similarly, the Green Economy’s effectiveness at “increasing long-term economic growth,” “reducing poverty,” and “creating high-paying jobs” is rated much more highly in emerging economies than in industrialized ones, as this chart shows.
Emerging-economy governments—notably in China—having taken a hard-line stance against tougher environmental targets in international climate negotiations in the past, but these findings suggest that they may be underestimating their peoples’ ability to take a long-term view.
Finding from a recent Regeneration Roadmap press release on Green Economy.
This post was written by former GlobeScan Research Director, Sam Mountford.