Obs’COP 2020
CLIMATE AND PUBLIC OPINIONS
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATORY

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

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30

Countries questioned

24,004

respondents worldwide

29

questions asked

1/5
Thematic 1 : Climate as a priority

Intensifying concern about climate change

Just behind waste accumulation (48%) and air pollution (42%), climate change and its visible expressions, extreme weather events, are part of the most worrying concerns and increased the most since 2019 (respectively 45% and 41%, +5 pts). On the other hand, other concerns are decreasing.

51%

think the priority should be given to the environment

2/5
Thematic 2 : Perception of climate change

One third of the respondents worldwide is climate skeptical, a significant minority

One third of the respondents worldwide (32%, + 1 point since 2019) attribute climate change to a natural or unknown phenomenon and so can be categorized as climate skeptical. However, they are less settled upon this category than those who deny the phenomenon realness (few respondents – 7%). In total, climate skepticism is strong in several countries, and it appears as a significant minority in practically all the countries. The lowest rates (almost 20%) are in Colombia, Mexico and South Korea.

Photo credits : EDF - Murat Guillaume
32%

remain skeptical about the human origin of climate change

3/5
Thematic 3 : CO2 and energy production

Continued confusion about the causes of climate change and the role of energies

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. Respondents worldwide also clearly identify coal and gas as CO2 producers. Nuclear energy for its part, although decarbonized, divides the population with 50% thinking that it produced CO2 too.

50%

think that nuclear energy produces CO2

4/5
Thematic 4 : Mobilization of stakeholders

Mobilization should be initiated by governments

In the citizens’ point of view, the fight against climate change should be initiated by governments (69% of the respondents worldwide). If governmental actions are known, they don’t match the high-level public expectations (50% of the respondent think that governments are really acting, i.e. 19 points gap between expectations and reality).

Photo credits : EDF - Colin Matthieu
69%

think that’s governments’ job to act on climate change

5/5
Thematic 5 : Acting on a daily basis

Everyday actions are still modest

For all the respondents worldwide, the tested individual actions are not well integrated in everyday life yet: sorting waste is the only gesture done systematically or so, and mostly in occidental countries. On the contrary, travelling by bicycle (16%), or using domestic renewable energy (18%) are the less done gesture at a global level.

Moreover, possible governmental measures are not always accepted by the population: it’s even more accurate if they’re limiting mobility or have a financial impact.

20%

claims to systematically limit their car use

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