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UK Insights

Global problems - where does climate change rank?

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Green 30.11.2015 / 15:20

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COP21: Brits less worried about climate change than the European neighbours

With the UN climate conference taking place in Paris, a poll of 1,306 people in the UK has ranked climate change the third most serious problem facing the world.

14% of Brits say climate change is the single most serious problem facing the world as a whole, behind poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water (30%) and international terrorism (28%).

This Eurobarometer study by Kantar's TNS Opinion shows there are significant regional across Europe, for example, in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, climate change is seen as the single most serious challenge facing the world.

The 147 leaders attending COP21 should take note, 42% of people think tackling climate change is the responsibility of national governments. However, there has been an increase in the proportion of Europeans who think there is a collective responsibility for tackling climate change (16%, compared to 10% in 2013). In the UK that figure is significantly higher, 23% of Brits say it is everyone's responsibility to tackle climate change.

Overall, British people are less worried about climate change than the European average. When asked 'how serious a problem do you think climate change is at the moment'? 15% of Brits say 'not a serious problem' compared to the 8% EU average. 69% of people across the EU think climate change is 'a very serious problem' at the moment, compared to the UK average of 53%.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told the conference that climate change goes beyond national borders and that it was "a shared mission for all mankind". British people agree, 93% say fighting climate change will only be effective if all countries of the world act together.

Source : Kantar, Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

This survey was carried out by the TNS Opinion & Social network in the 28 Member States of the European Union between the May and June 2015. Overall 27,718 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home. In the UK 1,306 people were polled between 30th June and 6th May 2015. For more information visit the European Commission website to download the full climate change report.

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