Obs’COP 2021
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

24,000

respondents worldwide

30

questions asked

1/5
Thematic 1 : Climate as a priority

Neither relegated, nor a priority: the environment in competition with everyday life

The question of the cost of living moves up to first place this year in terms of concerns in the 30 countries questioned (52%, +5 points), on a par with Covid, which drops 7 points. Poverty ranks 3rd (47%, +2 points) and the healthcare system 4th (43%).

The environment is not downgraded: in 5th position at 41%, it cannot compete with concerns that are closer to everyday life, but it surpasses unemployment and crime.

A small majority of 50% on a global scale claim to be favorable to giving priority to the environment over growth and employment, whereas 35% would make the opposite choice and 15% did not comment.

 

50%

think the priority should be given to the environment

2/5
Thematic 2 : Perception of climate change

Despite the growth of extreme climate events, climate skepticism has tended to grow in the last two years

We are seeing a growth in climate skepticism: 31% in 2019, 32% in 2020 and 34% in 2021.

Nevertheless, 77% of the planet’s inhabitants believe that they are already seeing the effects of climate change in their region, notably in the countries of the South, with heatwaves being the phenomenon most often observed (along with a disruption of the seasons in Europe).

Photo credits : EDF - Murat Guillaume
34%

remain skeptical about the human origin of climate change

3/5
Thematic 3 : CO2 and energy production

Electricity production: do everything possible to replace fossil fuels

Worldwide, the reception given to renewable energies as a source of electricity is very consensual (between 70% and 90% according to technologies). At the other end of the spectrum, coal is accepted by only 25% of the world’s population.

Nuclear power and gas are in an intermediate situation: small majorities (respectively 51% and 49%) disapprove of their use, but 39% of respondents approve of using each of these energies.

When it comes to needing to build gas- or nuclear-powered power plants “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, opinions become positive with a score of over 60%.

60%

find it acceptable to replace coal- or fuel-oil-fired power plants with nuclear power plants

4/5
Thematic 4 : Mobilization of stakeholders

Mobilization should be initiated by governments

There is no consensus on the idea that a mere change in life styles would help fight climate change: it is shared by one out of two inhabitants of the planet (51%) and has tended to drop back in the past 2 years (-2 points since 2019).

For 69% of the world’s population, the levers for resolving climate problems are still primarily a matter for governments. Consumers feel that they are taking action on their own level (50%) and only 45% think that it is up to them to take action.

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

Globally, people are already carrying out a number of actions on an everyday basis: 40% carry out four actions or more systematically, 67% two or more. But it turns out that the actions most commonly taken are not the ones that would be most effective in fighting climate change.

On an international scale, measures targeting cars are the ones with the lowest acceptability, especially in Europe

Likewise, measures with a financial impact are less readily accepted: a carbon tax (52%), but also taxes on air travel tickets (48%).

24%

claims to systematically limit their car use

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