‘Europeans more concerned about climate change than Americans, Chinese’

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‘Europeans more concerned about climate change than Americans, Chinese’

Katowice: Europeans are more concerned about climate change than people in the US and China, a survey has said.

Climate change doubters or deniers are more likely to be found in the US, a first-of-its-kind citizens’ climate survey by the European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Tuesday.

The survey was in partnership with the global public opinion company YouGov to find out how 25,000 citizens in the European Union, the US and China feel about the climate change.

The EIB presented the findings of the first two parts of its survey on the sidelines of the ongoing UN climate negotiations, known as COP24, which saw world leaders and decision-makers getting to work on mitigating climate change in this Polish city.

The survey says a large majority of Europeans well aware of the climate change issue but 20 per cent still not feeling concerned despite the recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that finds that warming could reach 1.5 degrees as soon as 2030, with devastating impacts.

A total of 14 per cent of Americans are sceptical about the reality of climate change versus seven per cent of the Europeans.

Citizens with lower income more worried by the negative economic impact of climate actions than high-income ones in Europe, except in Poland.

EIB Vice President responsible for climate action and environment Jonathan Taylor said: “The EIB climate survey sends an important signal to delegates at COP24 in Katowice, that citizens are increasingly aware of the challenges posed by climate change.”

“This is key to the international climate debate, because citizens already are making a difference through their individual actions. It is now up to businesses, citizens, governments at all levels and public institutions to use this momentum and work together. The EIB stands ready to play its part.”

Regarding the public’s perception of the impact of climate action on job creation and economic growth, the survey found that EU citizens are more pessimistic than their Chinese and US counterparts.

The Europeans express greater concern about the financial impact of climate change.

Fifty-five per cent of Europeans consider that the financial impact of climate change will affect them personally, as compared to 40 per cent of Chinese and 45 per cent of US respondents.

According to the survey, Americans are also the most optimistic regarding the economic benefits of measures to combat climate change. Twenty-six per cent believe the effect of climate action can be positive on the economy in contrast to only 21 per cent of Europeans and 11 per cent of Chinese.

Against this backdrop, the EIB is committed to serve as one of the largest sources of finance worldwide to fight climate change.

It has invested over 130 billion euros globally, supporting the delivery of over 600 billion euro in climate action investment since 2011 — roughly the equivalent of the Polish GDP.

“Finance is a key factor in the global fight against climate change and its negative impacts,” EIB Head of Environment, Climate and Social Policy Monica Scatasta said.

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