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More Indians wary of climate change than Chinese: Pew study


Business Standard, New Delhi, 6th November, 2015

 

Globally, the survey says, an overwhelming 78 per cent of the respondents are of the view that their respective countries should sign an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions from burning of coal, natural gas and petroleum.

 

The Indians and Chinese also have vastly differing opinions on whether climate change would take a personal toll on citizens. Almost 69 per cent of the respondents in India say climate change might harm them personally in the near future or in the long run. The corresponding figure for China is only 15 per cent. However, Indians (42 per cent) and Chinese (49 per cent) believe climate change is harming people at present.

 

Across the nations surveyed, 51 per cent say people are already being harmed by climate change, 28 per cent say they will be harmed in the next few years. A major reason for this, 67 per cent of the respondents across the world say, is lifestyle.

 

Yet, there are significant regional differences on the perceived problems posed by global warming. Worries are especially strong in Latin America and Africa, where erratic weather phenomenon and widespread changes in local climate have made headlines in recent years.

 

More than half of those polled in 39 of the 40 countries are concerned that the problem will cause them harm personally during their lifetimes, and a global median of 40 per cent are very worried about this.

 

In most countries, people say much of the burden for dealing with climate change should be shouldered by wealthier countries due to historical factors. Almost 54 per cent across all countries agree with this. Drought tops the list of possible consequences of climate change in 31 countries, including India (53 per cent) and China (38 per cent).

A higher proportion of the Indians believe climate change to be a serious global challenge than the Chinese do, reveals a survey released by the Pew Research Center on Thursday.

 

The survey also shows a majority of people - 54 per cent of all respondents across 40 countries - view climate change as a very serious threat. In 37 countries, the willingness to curb emissions that might contribute to global warming exceeds intense concern about climate change.

 

Nowhere, however, is this trend more striking than in China, which is responsible for the highest annual release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. While 71 per cent of the Chinese respondents support an international treaty to curtail emissions, only 18 per cent express an intense concern about climate conditions.

 

By comparison, 76 per cent of Indian respondents say climate change is a serious problem. This is the third-highest figure among the countries surveyed in Asia, next only to the numbers for South Korea and Vietnam. Additionally, 70 per cent of those surveyed by the US-based think-tank say their country should reduce carbon emissions.

 

The results of the survey are significant at a time when world leaders are preparing to negotiate an agreement on the issue, involving a reduction in carbon emissions from industrial production and power generation. The 21st Conference of Parties, to meet in Paris in December, has intensified the debate on which countries should shoulder the burden of lowering emissions and financing cleaner technologies.

 

 

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Globally, the survey says, an overwhelming 78 per cent of the respondents are of the view that their respective countries should sign an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions from burning of coal, natural gas and petroleum.

 

The Indians and Chinese also have vastly differing opinions on whether climate change would take a personal toll on citizens. Almost 69 per cent of the respondents in India say climate change might harm them personally in the near future or in the long run. The corresponding figure for China is only 15 per cent. However, Indians (42 per cent) and Chinese (49 per cent) believe climate change is harming people at present.

 

Across the nations surveyed, 51 per cent say people are already being harmed by climate change, 28 per cent say they will be harmed in the next few years. A major reason for this, 67 per cent of the respondents across the world say, is lifestyle.

 

Yet, there are significant regional differences on the perceived problems posed by global warming. Worries are especially strong in Latin America and Africa, where erratic weather phenomenon and widespread changes in local climate have made headlines in recent years.

 

More than half of those polled in 39 of the 40 countries are concerned that the problem will cause them harm personally during their lifetimes, and a global median of 40 per cent are very worried about this.

 

In most countries, people say much of the burden for dealing with climate change should be shouldered by wealthier countries due to historical factors. Almost 54 per cent across all countries agree with this. Drought tops the list of possible consequences of climate change in 31 countries, including India (53 per cent) and China (38 per cent).

 

 http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/more-indians-wary-of-climate-change-than-chinese-pew-study-115110600025_1.html