Page last updated at 01:27 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

BBC climate change poll shows rising concerns

Concern is rising about climate change around the world, according to a poll by GlobeScan for the BBC.

Nearly two-thirds of 24,071 people polled in 23 countries said climate change was a "very serious" problem - up from 44% in a GlobeScan 1998 poll.

There was a roughly equal split between people who wanted their governments to push for rapid action on climate change and those favouring a gradual approach.

Only 6% did not want governments to conclude any international agreement.

Graphic showing percentages regarding climate change as "very serious" in selected countries

GlobeScan has regularly polled 13 of the countries included in the survey, for the past 11 years.

The US and China buck the general trend, becoming less concerned about climate change over the past two years.

"The poll shows strong worldwide support for action on climate change, in spite of the recession," said GlobeScan chairman Doug Miller.

On average 63% of those polled said climate change was a "very serious" concern. In Brazil and Chile the figure was 86%, falling to 45% in India and the US.

In the 23 countries where polling took place, 44% on average wanted their country to play a leadership role to address climate change as quickly as possible, while 39% wanted their country to take a moderate approach supporting only gradual action.

Pie chart showing proportion of people worldwide who favour state action to address climate change

People in the UK were keenest on taking a leadership role (62%) followed by Canada and Kenya (both 61%), and Japan, Australia and France (57%).

Those in the US were above average for wanting their government to take a leadership role to address climate change as quickly as possible, but 14% wanted no international agreement - more than in any other country polled.

On average, 61% of those questioned in the 23 countries said they wanted their government to invest in measures to address climate change, even if it hurt the economy. Some 29% opposed the idea.


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Despite the fact that only 57% of Chinese people questioned said climate change was a very serious concern, 89% of them supported government investment in tackling climate change - more than in any other country.

In the US, 42% said they would oppose government action to address climate change if it hurt the economy, a figure exceeded only in Pakistan (58%) and the Philippines (63%).

A total of 24,071 adult citizens in 23 countries were questioned by GlobeScan between 19 June and 13 October 2009.

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