A massive majority of the world's population wants to see more government action against climate change and environmental degradation. It shows a study from the University of Cambridge in the UK. A research team asked 2,000 people in seven countries if they thought that the governments of all countries in the world should do more to protect the environment . The answer was a resounding yes.
In six of the countries (China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Great Britain and Poland), over 90 percent answered that they wanted to see more activity from governments.
The United States was the only one of the seven countries in the survey to fall below 90 percent. Here, the political polarization in the country seems to play a major role. 95 percent of those who voted for Joe Biden want to see more activity from the government, while the corresponding figure for those who voted for Donald Trump was only 55 percent. But overall, it still means that a large majority of Americans, 79 percent, are in favor of more government intervention to protect the environment.
- We live in a time of polarization and what opinions one has about environmental issues have long been decided by where one stands politically. But that may be about to change. We can now see a transition to an overwhelming consensus that governments should take greater responsibility for protecting the environment in the countries of the world, says Lee de-Wit, PhD in political psychology and one of the researchers behind the study.
When it comes to what measures people want to see, the protection of animals and nature ends up at the top. This is followed by measures to plant more trees, develop new sustainable technical solutions and reduce greenhouse gas production.
58 percent of those surveyed were also positive about letting companies pay for the environmental impact of their operations. 48 percent thought that companies would have more time to adapt their operations. But the majority think that it is not enough without financial pressure also being needed.
What is really gratifying is that so many now want to see more measures against environmental degradation and climate change. Especially in the largest countries, there is enormous support. In India, the aid was 99–100 per cent and in China it was 92–97 per cent. With such a large proportion of the world's population in those countries, it is very positive that there is popular pressure on governments to take the environment into account when trying to improve the lives of a few billion people.
- We have great challenges ahead of us to protect the environment, but public opinion no longer seems to be a problem, says Lee de-Wit.