Climate and Public Opinions International Observatory by Ipsos

Obs'COP 2019

Obs'COP 2019

The barometer of public opinion on climate change perception in 30 countries.

Made by


Countries questioned


respondents worldwide


questions asked

Climat as a piority

Great concern about climate change

World citizens are concerned about many different environmental problems: accumulation of waste (packaging, plastic…) seems to be the most worrisome (52% of respondents rank it first in their country), ahead of air pollution (45%) and climate change itself, which ranks 3rd on a global level (40%)… although extreme climate events (flooding, drought, hurricanes…), are frequently mentioned, espcially in Japan, Australia and Spain.


View the environmental situation in their country as bad

Perception of climate change

Its reality is no longer questioned, but its origin still is

Today, this phenomenon is a reality accepted by almost all the respondents worldwide: 92% are convinced that climate change is a reality and 62% definitely so. The question that remains relates more to its cause: 69% think that climate change is caused by human activity but almost one quarter of the population (23%) attribute it to a natural or unknown phenomenon, particularly in countries with high CO2 emission levels like Saudi Arabia, Australia, the USA or China, but also in Norway for example.

Photo credits : EDF - Murat Guillaume

remain skeptical about the human origin of climate change

Production of CO2 and energies

Continued confusion about the role of energies in climate

The respondents view greenhouse gas emissions as the main cause of climate change and correctly identify the countries with the highest emissions. However, they also attribute it to other phenomena, such as air pollution or the hole in the ozone layer. The sectors with the highest emissions, for them, are industry, transport and deforestation, much more than electricity production, despite it being a heavy user of fossil fuels. Respondents worldwide also clearly identify coal and gas as CO2 producers. Nuclear energy for its part, although decarbonized, divides the population with over 50% thinking that it produces CO2.


think that nuclear energy produces CO2

Mobilization of players

Mobilization should be driven by governments

Citizens express their key expectations of governments: for 70% of them, these are the first players who must take action, far ahead of citizens and companies. To date however, scientists are viewed as the ones taking the most action, ahead of NGOs and citizens… However, citizen mobilization is viewed as being stable in the last 12 months by 42% of the population (and by 35% as increasing). On the other hand, fewer than half of them (48%) think that their government is really taking action today, particularly in Europe..

Photo credits : EDF - Colin Matthieu

think that it is the government's job to act on climage change

Acting on a daily basis

Everyday actions are still modest

While almost one third of respondents hope for a solution stemming from technological innovations, the majority think that the fight against climate change primarily requires a change in life styles. Three-quarters of citizens claim to have done this in recent years. However, everyday actions are carried out systematically (or almost) by less than 50% on a global level. Topping the list of actions are sorting waste (48%, particularly in Europe), consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables (40%) and limiting heating or air conditioning (33%). On the other hand, limiting the use of individual transport is still difficult for most people and restrictive measures in these areas would be very unpopular.


claim to systematically limit their car use