Ipsos Mori, one of the largest market-researching firms in the United Kingdom, has recently published a global trends survey that tackles a myriad of different topics and questions including the environment. 20 different countries (mainly from the G-20) were asked multiple different questions regarding the environment and anthropogenic climate change. Overall the responses were in support of looming environmental threats and the need to take action to mitigate these threats, although some responses showed cynicism of environmental issues.
For the question “To what extent do you agree or disagree? We are heading for environmental disaster unless we change our habits quickly” all countries surveyed had over 50% agree. The United States had the most disagreement with the statement, while China had over 90% agreement. In total, 73% agreed, 20% disagreed, and 7% didn’t know.
The statement “I’m tired of the fuss that is being made about the environment” received the greatest amount of disagreement among all of the survey questions. Only Brazil and India had over 50% agreement, and the average disagreement was 60%.
Regarding whether or not companies do not pay enough attention to the environment, nearly all countries saw an increase in agreement from the previous question, with 77% in total agreeing and 16% disagreeing. Japan was the only country with agreement below 65%, with only 45% agreeing. This question suggests that many countries view corporations as the main force behind environmental degradation and therefore hold them accountable for responsible environmental policy.
Despite seemingly positive responses with regards to the threat of environmental disaster, a majority of countries agreed with the statement “The government is just using environmental issues as an excuse to raise taxes.” In no country did over 50% disagree with this statement, and these statements also received the greatest percentage of “don’t know” responses, suggesting a cynicism if not with climate change itself than with governments using climate change as an excuse.
The statement “Even the scientists don’t really know what they are talking about on environmental issues” also received a mixed response similar to the previous question. Countries were fairly evenly split on this issue, leaning slightly in agreement. However, the rate of agreement suggests lingering skepticism on the science behind environmental issues.
Despite some mixed responses regarding the facts on environmental issues, most countries strongly agreed with the assertion that the climate change we are facing is due to human activity. All countries had over 50% agree, with only the United States had more than 25% disagree with this statement.
The results of all the survey questions clearly illustrates that a majority of people in these countries view the environment as a serious topic, climate change as anthropogenic, and the need to act to mitigate potential disaster. While skepticism is visible in some responses, it is firmly in the minority. What remains to be seen if these positive responses translate into action and results for a better environment.
To read the full survey, visit Ipsos Mori.