Although people from several world countries have expressed their concern about the perils of climate change, none has so far have taken it up at constitutional level in the form of Environment and Climate Emergency as it happened in the United Kingdom. However, a recent survey revealed ‘mixed feeling’ by people in different regions on the issue, as outlined below.
- Communities in Greece express very high levels of concern, with 90% claiming climate change a major threat (matching 88% who refer it to global economy).
- People in Spain, South Korea, France and Mexico also express strong concerns. Eight-in-ten or more in each of these countries say climate change is a major threat.
- People in Russia (43%), Nigeria (41%) and Israel (38%) are the least likely to say climate change is a major threat to their nation.
- About half or a little more in Israel say global climate change is a minor threat or not a threat (58% and 51%, respectively), while in the U.S., roughly a quarter (23%) believe climate change is a minor threat, 16% saying it is no threat at all.
However, concerns about climate change have risen significantly in many countries since 2013. The share of people expressing concern about the threat of climate change around the world has escalated to new height since 2013, as was evident when the survey agents first asked respondents whether they saw it as a major threat to their nation.
In 2013, a median of 56% in 23 countries said climate change was a major threat; in the Center’s most recent Global Attitudes survey, a median of 67% in the same countries held this view. And in 10 countries, the share of people who saw global warming as a major threat has grown by at least 10 percentage points.
The survey also revealed that people with better education tend to be more concerned about climate change, while in some countries, women and younger people seem to be more concerned. In fact, education, gender and age are related to evaluations of climate change as a threat.
In most countries surveyed, those with higher levels of education are more likely than those with less education to see climate change as a serious threat. For instance, Hungarians with a postsecondary or higher education are 11 percentage points more likely than their less-educated counterparts to say that climate change is a major threat. Women are more likely than men to be concerned about climate change in nine of the 26 surveyed countries. In Canada, for example, 72% of women consider climate change a major threat, compared with 59% of men.
However, none could beat the legislators in the UK parliament who have declared ‘An Environment and Climate Emergency’, thus branding it as the first country in the world to do so.
The move comes sometime after 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg addressed UK lawmakers to demand more climate action, and in the wake of protests by climate action group Extinction Rebellion, who blocked major landmarks in London.
Speaking earlier in the week, after the motion was announced, Thunberg said: “It is a great first step because it sends a clear signal that we are in a crisis and that the ongoing climate and ecological crises must be our first priority.” “We cannot solve an emergency without treating it like an emergency, she added.”
Following the announcement of the decision to declare a climate emergency, the young lady tweeted: “Historic and very hopeful news. Now other nations must follow. And words must turn into immediate action.”