Climate Change & Public Perception

  • IASbaba
  • October 29, 2021
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Oct 26: Climate Change & Public Perception- 


  • GS-III: Climate Change

Climate Change & Public Perception

Context: From severe heat waves to extreme rainfall—the threats of climate change are becoming more palpable and attracting the attention of policymakers from around the world. While the increased public focus is a necessary first step, successfully mitigating the risk of climate change will also depend on the support and appropriate collective action from local communities.

In News: The year 2021 marks a crucial juncture for charting the future of climate action.

In the run-up to the G20 Summit and COP26 the UNDP and the University of Oxford have publishing the G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote. 

G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote

The G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote polled over 689,000 people across 18 of the G20 countries from October 2020 until June 2021 focussed on various aspects of the issue of climate change including Climate Finance Policy, Cutting emissions and climate adaptation policy.

In the survey, respondents were asked if climate change was a global emergency and whether they supported eighteen key climate policies across six action areas: economy, energy, transport, food & farms, nature and protecting people.  

According to this report, 

  • On average 70 per cent of young people in G20 countries believe that we are in a global climate emergency. 65 percent of adults believe the same.
  • In eight of the ten survey countries with the highest emissions from the power sector, majorities backed more renewable energy. 
  • In four out of the five countries with the highest emissions from land-use change and enough data on policy preferences, there was majority support for conserving forests and land. 
  • Nine out of ten of the countries with the most urbanized populations backed more use of clean electric cars and buses, or bicycles.  

Policies had wide-ranging support, with the most popular being conserving forests and land (54% public support), more solar, wind and renewable power (53%), adopting climate-friendly farming techniques (52%) and investing more in green businesses and jobs (50%).

The results of the survey clearly illustrate that urgent climate action has broad support amongst people around the globe, across nationalities, age, gender and education level. But more than that, the poll reveals how people want their policymakers to tackle the crisis. From climate-friendly farming to protecting nature and investing in a green recovery from COVID-19, the survey brings the voice of the people to the forefront of the climate debate. It signals ways in which countries can move forward with public support as we work together to tackle this enormous challenge.

Note: The Group of 20 made up of 19 countries and the European Union, account for over 80% of global GDP, 60% of the world’s population, and more than 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. Significance of public perception on the issue of climate change
  2. How will the public perception impact the decision making process on actions which need to be taken to tackle this challenge.

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