Climate Action

64% of People Believe Climate Change is a Global Emergency

UNDP's 'climate vote' reveals public attitudes towards climate crisis DESPITE other pressures, such as Covid-19.

The world’s largest public climate survey has revealed that of almost half of the planet’s population, 64% of them believe the current climate crisis is a global emergency.

The survey was distributed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through mobile gaming apps to encompass an often hard to reach audience of younger participants, with the results processed by the University of Oxford. Over half a million of the contributions were recorded by those under 18 years of age, with the study also including voices from over 50 countries.

According to the UNDP, People were asked whether they believe climate change is a global emergency and whether they support eighteen key climate policies across six action areas: economy, energy, transport, food & farms, nature and protecting people.  Results show that people often want broad climate policies beyond the current state of play.

Prof. Stephen Fisher, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, said:

“The survey – the biggest ever survey of public opinion on climate change – has shown us that mobile gaming networks can not only reach a lot of people, they can engage different kinds of people in a diverse group of countries. The Peoples’ Climate Vote has delivered a treasure trove of data on public opinion that we’ve never seen before. Recognition of the climate emergency is much more widespread than previously thought. We’ve also found that most people clearly want a strong and wide-raging policy response.”

The UK had one of the joint highest percentage of people surveyed who share the belief that climate change is an emergency, with a staggering 81% of respondents agreeing. Of those people, 77% also felt that we should do ‘everything necessary, urgently’ to prevent it. Based on current UK population statistics, approximately 41 million people in the UK believe that the climate emergency is real, and we should respond urgently.  You can read the full survey results here.

The issue of climate is huge, and is often overwhelming, leading to ‘eco anxiety’ and concern that we are as individuals cannot do enough to help. No single person can change the climate alone; however we can all take smaller steps towards supporting our planet and environment, which can add to bigger change.

Read our Solutions pages for ideas, and check out our resources on Goal 13 – Climate Action!


Posted by Claire Edwards 15 March 2021

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