Most people very concerned about climate change

April 22nd, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by admin  

By Joydeep Gupta
Singapore, April 22 (IANS) Over 65 percent of people around the world say that governments, businesses and everyone else “need to take major steps very soon” to tackle climate change and 77 percent are “ready to make significant lifestyle changes to help prevent” it, shows a recent survey. More than three-quarters of the 22,000 people questioned in 21 countries told the Globe Scan survey that “humans have significant impact on climate”, the firm’s president Doug Miller said here Tuesday.

Miller was presenting the highlights of the survey, carried out for BBC World Service, on the first morning of the two-day B4E (Business for the Environment) summit, being attended by over 500 business leaders from over 30 countries.

“The climate change poll was the most unanimous poll we ever carried out for the BBC World Service,” Miller said.

On the question of whether people were “ready to make significant lifestyle changes to help prevent climate change”, while the global average was 77 percent, Indians were second last, with 55 percent of those interviewed stating their readiness. Russians were last at 43 percent, while Filipinos came on top at 95 percent.

While 65 percent of those surveyed said that governments, businesses and everyone else “need to take major steps very soon” to tackle climate change, 25 percent felt “modest steps” would do. Only six percent said no steps were necessary, according to Miller.

Climate change “will pose a direct threat to them and their families in the next decade”, said 74 percent of those surveyed.

Climate change due to warming of the atmosphere from excessive emissions of greenhouse gases, largely carbon dioxide, is already affecting farm output, causing more frequent and more damaging droughts, floods and storms, and drowning coastal communities as the sea level rises, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics.

Asked by Globe Scan interviewers if technological change would solve the climate change problem without the need for any lifestyle change, 58 percent said ‘yes’ and 36 percent said ‘no’.

Exactly half of those surveyed said they felt “guilty” for climate change, while 46 percent did not think so.

The survey found that in India, China and South Korea, 48 percent of those surveyed had avoided products or brands for environmental reasons in the recent past.

The survey showed “worldwide followership exists, it’s time for leaders”, said Miller.

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