People in Africa are concerned with the impacts about climate change. More so than the Middle East and parts of Asia.
However, they are not as concerned as most of Latin America and Europe who are big advocates of a greener future. Currently, 61% of people in Africa consider climate change to be a very serious problem. While just over half at 52% believe that climate change is harming people now.
The most probable concern and reality in Africa is that of floods. 59% which is lower than thought are worried about droughts and water shortages.
Furthermore, only 16% are concerned about severe weather conditions and a mere 3% are concerned about the rise in sea levels.
Countries in Sub Saharan Africa are very troubled about increasing desertification even as they account for .04% of global CO2 emissions. In this region, the concern for the change in climate drops to only 34%. This percentage feel that it is in fact a concern to be worried about, as appose to the other 2 thirds.
In the large continent, some countries have greater concerns than others. Uganda holds a whopping 79% concern rate, likewise Ghana at 68% and 45% in South Africa.
Latin America, holds a larger percentage of people concerned with climate change than other parts of the world. This is unfortunate due to their power position which doesn’t allow them to have a big foot hold on the globe concerning the problem.
74% consider climate change a big problem and 77% say it is harming people in the present day. These figures come at 20 points higher than the global median according to Pew Research.
The threat of climate change harming people on a personal and individual level stands at 63%. The figures back themselves up as Chile have stepped up their pursuit in tackling the problem.
When the region is looked at more accurately, Mexico and Central America are the most worried. 81.5% are currently believing that climate change is a very serious issue.
Brazil, as we know, is an important country in global climate change politics as it is the eleventh largest emitter and unlike other countries who emit large volumes of GHG, 86% believe global warming is a problem.
Good news, 67% of the population believe that climate change and preventing it is a personal responsibility. Instead of relying on the government to do something about it, they feel it is their duty to minimize their impact as much as possible.
With the exception of Latin America, Europeans have the tendency to be more concerned about the climate crisis than the rest of the world. However, there is a big division between Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
There is a range within the concerned countries, between 97% and 88% agree that climate change is a major issue and is caused by human activity.
Whereas in the less concerned areas of Europe, predominantly located in the East, only 24% consider it be fairly serious and only 10% believe it is not a serious problem. However in some Eastern European countries there is a percentage of 63 who say it is very serious.
Unlike their Brazilian counter parts, in a score of 0 – 10 (10 being a great deal and 0 being not at all) when asked if climate change is their responsibility, 5.6 was the average score among Europeans.
Western are closer to scoring 7 in believing it is an individual problem and 4 was scored more frequently in the Eastern parts.
On the downside, just 9% have installed or switched to a greener energy supply. So to conclude Europe, they are overall somewhat concerned but their feelings of personal responsibility to deal with the issue are limited.
Asia and the Pacific
For some reason, Asia and the Pacific tend to be less concerned, bearing in mind China is one of the biggest polluters in the world with no regulations on what they emit into the atmosphere.
Under half the population believe that climate change is a serious problem at 45% and 48% believe that it is harming people now.
Even lower at 37% believe that climate change will harm people individually which will therefor lower their responsibility percentage.
There is large gap between developed Asia and developing Asia. In the developing parts only 31% believe that it is very serious problem. However – ironic it may be with the little work being done – 74% in developed Asia consider global warming a serious threat.
Countries that emit the most like previously said, China, surprisingly, their citizens are happy with the governments effort to preserve the environment coming in at 68% satisfaction rate.
This region is very susceptible to droughts and their severity and more dangerous realities will likely hit the Middle East in the future. Ironically, this region has the lowest rates of concern in the world.
Just 38% of the population believe climate change is a very serious problem and 26% believe it is harming them now. According to NASA, they are experiencing their worst drought in 900 years, one that is seemingly endless. With these low figures, their mindset comes to a huge surprise.
By country, 38% of Israel considers climate change to be a major threat to their country, 40% of Jordan, 58% of Lebanon and 53% of Turkey.
In the poll, 38% of the Middle East are concerned about drought and 19% are concerned about long periods of unusually hot weather. However, 42% are satisfied with their own country’s efforts to tackle the global phenomenon.
Likewise with other topics circulating NA, they also have mixed opinions on climate change ranging from Mexico and Canada that are both more concerned than their sandwiched counterparts, USA.
Ironically speaking again, USA are the second largest emitter and are less concerned about the implications. Money does talk after all.
Of the three, Mexico stands as the most concerned. 90% believe it is a serious problem and 83% believe that it is harming them as we speak.
Canadians are also concerned with only 19% who are not worried at all about climate change
While USA is the largest emitter of CO2 in North America and the second in the world, it has the lowest concern out of the 3 countries. 61% are concerned which is still relatively high, but is 30% behind Mexico and 20% behind Canada.
Good news, USA are indeed the richest country in the world, but 70% believe that environmental protections are more important than economic growth. Money doesn’t have the only voice, according to a Yale climate opinion study.
Difference between regions
While climate change will affect the whole world and won’t just be situated to one region, although some may feel the affects before others, opinion differences between regions of the world about these affects vary significantly.
Compared to Latin America, the Middle East has the lowest rates of concern. Europe and Africa share similar opinions but both have mixed views on the subject. However, they both tend to lead towards climate change action.
Europeans tend to focus on the sustainability part of combating climate change when compared to USA residents, which are less concerned about the global median.
The biggest fears about climate change in Latin America and Africa are droughts and other forms of water shortages.
Countries that are developed in Asia have somewhat levels of concern about the impacts of climate change. But the surprising part of developing countries in Asia have similar views as the Middle East.
Large emitters like China avoid the issues and talks surrounding climate change as people have low concerns about it.
The only significant exception to this tendency by large emitters, is Brazil. Brazil is the eleventh biggest emitter in the world and is a country that has high levels of concern about climate change, levels similar to much of Latin America.
What does your region think? Do you agree with them or have different opinions?
Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head
- Pew Research Center’s Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey Q32, Q41 & Q42
- Pew Research Center’s Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey Q32
- 2007–2008 Gallup poll
- Wikipedia – Climate change opinion by country