Most people (80 per cent) say they are aware of climate change. That awareness has largely come from severe climate events (57 per cent), followed by media coverage and documentaries. Most people think that the expected major impacts of climate change will be on weather and climate, ecosystems, sea level and coasts, water and food supply. Almost half also identified human health and world order.
78 per cent of the public think that climate change will harm them personally a moderate amount or more. But they’re not sure what that impact will be at a personal level. Only 26 per cent think climate change will have a major impact on their lifestyle. Only 25 per cent think it will have a major impact on their community and only 16 per cent of think climate change will have a major impact on their career.
This finding reinforces the need to communicate more clearly about the impact that climate change will have on every one of us – to localise the discussion. A small majority of people (54 per cent) think it’s not too late to avert the major impacts of climate change. When asked what they need to push them into action, the top items identified are better understanding of impacts and the actions that individuals and businesses can take, better access to technology, financial incentives and understanding of policy options.
Scientists and science organisations were identified as the most trustworthy sources of information ahead of the UN and national governments, and well ahead of politicians and journalists.
80 per cent say they are aware of climate change.
Most, 57 per cent, became aware through severe climate events along with media coverage (47 per cent) and documentaries (37 per cent).
44 per cent are very worried & 43 per cent somewhat worried about climate change. Italians (96 per cent) are the most worried (96 per cent) with 76 per cent very worried and 20 per cent somewhat worried about climate change while Australians are the least worried with only 32 per cent very worried and 46 per cent somewhat worried.
78 per cent think that climate change will harm them personally a great deal/moderate amount. South Korean (94 per cent) are most concerned personally & Switzerland least (55 per cent).
Is it too late to prevent major impacts of climate change?
21 per cent think it is too late to avert the major impacts of climate change; 54 per cent it’s not too late & 25 per cent don’t know/unsure.
Indians are most pessimistic. 32 per cent think it is too late while Indonesians are most optimistic. Only 12 per cent of Indonesians believe it is too late to prevent major climate change impacts.
The climate change survey was conducted between 10 September 2021and 20 October 2021 in twelve countries by Instinct and Reason through the IRIS network of independent research companies for the International Universities Climate Alliance.
The surveyed countries were Australia (n=1002), Canada (n=1000), Greece (n-1003), India (958), Indonesia (n=1000), Ireland (n=1008), Italy (n=1175), Japan (n=1000), Romania (n=1014), South Korea (n=1000), Switzerland (n=1053), UK (n=503), USA (n=1001).