October 12, 2010

What do other countries think about climate change?

Q. What are current global attitudes about climate change?

Our international polling shows that publics around the world are concerned about climate change. In the recent spring 2010 Pew Global Attitudes survey, majorities in all 22 nations polled rate global climate change a serious problem, and majorities in ten countries say it is a very serious problem.

There are some interesting differences among the countries included in the survey. Brazilians are the most concerned about this issue: 85% consider it a very serious problem. Worries are less intense, however, in the two countries that emit the most carbon dioxide — only 41% of Chinese and 37% of American respondents characterize climate change as a very serious challenge.

Even though majorities around the globe express at least some concern about this issue, publics are divided on the question of whether individuals should pay more to address climate change. In 11 nations, a majority or plurality agree that people should pay higher prices to cope with this problem, while in 11 nations a majority or plurality say people should not be asked to pay more.

For more on this topic, see Chapter 8 of the June 17, 2010 report by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, “Obama More Popular Abroad Than At Home, Global Image of U.S. Continues to Benefit.”

Richard Wike, Associate Director, Pew Global Attitudes Project