Climate Concerns Decline Since Copenhagen Summit: Global Poll

  • Globescan

London, December 2, 2010: As governments prepare to meet in Mexico for the Cancun climate summit, a new global poll reveals that concern about climate change has fallen sharply across OECD countries in the past year, but that citizens in some major developing nations have become more concerned about the issue.

The 26-country poll, conducted by GlobeScan, asked a total of 13,389 people to rate the seriousness of a range of environmental problems including climate change.

Results from the 14 countries where GlobeScan has tracked opinion regularly since 1998 reveal that concern has fallen away particularly sharply on climate change. The proportion of people rating climate change as a “very serious” problem fell from 61 percent to 53 percent this year, after many years of increasing concern.

While concern about climate change fell in many industrialised nations including the UK (down from 59 percent to 43 percent “very serious”), the USA (down from 45 percent to 41 percent), and Germany (down from 61 percent to 47 percent), the findings also show that concern has risen in the last year in two major emerging economies: India (up from 45 percent to 53 percent) and Brazil (up from 86 percent to 92 percent).

Other findings from the poll show that the proportion of people across tracking countries who believe that “the dangers of climate change are exaggerated” has risen from 42 percent in 2008 to 48 percent this year.

GlobeScan Senior Vice-President Chris Coulter commented: “We are witnessing a North-South divide around climate change where concern is stable or growing in emerging economies while concern has declined in Europe and North America. The combined effects of economic recession, the confusing results from last year’s Copenhagen climate conference, and the controversy surrounding climate science seem to have shaken the belief of people in industrialized countries that climate change is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed, and makes it even less likely that governments will feel the pressure to reach a strong agreement in Cancun. We may, however, see stronger than expected leadership from key developing countries in response to the significant levels of concern expressed by their populations.”

For media interviews please contact:

  • Sam Mountford, Research Director
    GlobeScan Incorporated
    Office phone: +44 20 7928 5368
    Mobile phone: +44 7854 132635
  • Oliver Martin, Director Global Development
    GlobeScan Incorporated
    Office phone: +1 416 969 3073
    Mobile phone: +1 416 721 3544

About the GlobeScan Radar
GlobeScan Radar is a syndicated annual survey of global public opinion, covering a variety of issues around business in society. GlobeScan has been tracking issues and societal expectations for business across the world since 1999. GlobeScan Radar provides global decision-makers with critical insights and comparative country metrics needed to better understand the trends shaping their international business and policy environment. The research program is designed to help shape corporate strategies, policy positions, initiative development, and communications activities.

The latest GlobeScan Radar results are based on interviews with representative samples of citizens in Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the USA. Interviews were conducted via face-to-face or by telephone. Polling was conducted by GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. Some urban-only surveying was conducted in certain developing countries, following generally accepted research standards in each country. The margin of error per country ranges from +/-2 to 3 percent, 19 times out of 20. Visit the Radar Website

About GlobeScan
GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its quality management system, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact. Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco.