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Environmental Concerns "At Record Lows": Global Poll

25 February 2013 – Environmental concerns among citizens around the world have been falling since 2009 and have now reached twenty-year lows, according to a multi-country GlobeScan poll.

The findings are drawn from the GlobeScan Radar annual tracking poll of citizens across 22 countries. A total of 22,812 people were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone during the second half of 2012. Twelve of these countries have been regularly polled on environmental issues since 1992.

Asked how serious they consider each of six environmental problems to be—air pollution, water pollution, species loss, automobile emissions, fresh water shortages, and climate change—fewer people now consider them “very serious” than at any time since tracking began twenty years ago.

Climate change is the only exception, where concern was lower from 1998 to 2003 than it is now. Concern about air and water pollution, as well as biodiversity, is significantly below where it was even in the 1990s. Many of the sharpest falls have taken place in the past two years.

The perceived seriousness of climate change has fallen particularly sharply since the unsuccessful UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. Climate concern dropped first in industrialized countries, but this year’s figures show that concern has now fallen in major developing economies such as Brazil and China as well.

WA2012 Q1

* The chart shows average findings across the 12 countries for which tracking data is available since 1992. 6,774 citizens across these 12 countries were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone on this question between July 3, 2012 and September 3, 2012. Polling was conducted by the international research consultancy GlobeScan and its partners in each country. In 4 of the 12 countries, the sample was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 4.3 to 4.8 percent, 19 times out of 20.
** Question wording and 1992 fieldwork done by The Gallup Institute, Princeton. 


 

Despite the steep fall in environmental concern over the past three years, majorities still consider most of these environmental problems to be “very serious,” Water pollution is viewed as the most serious environmental problem among those tested, rated by 58 percent as very serious. Climate change is rated second least serious out of the six, with one in two (49%) viewing it as “very serious.”

GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller comments: “Scientists report that evidence of environmental damage is stronger than ever—but our data shows that economic crisis and a lack of political leadership mean that the public are starting to tune out. 

Those who care about mobilizing public opinion on the environment need to find new messages in order to reinvigorate a stalled debate.”

 

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For More Information, Please Contact:

  • Robin Miller, Manager, Marketing and Communications, +1 416-969-3076, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

About GlobeScan

For 25 years, GlobeScan has helped clients measure and build value-generating relationships with their stakeholders. Uniquely placed at the nexus of reputation, brand and sustainability, we partner with clients to build trust, drive engagement, and inspire innovation within, around, and beyond their organizations.

For more information, visit www.GlobeScan.com

Methodology

In total 22,812 citizens in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone between July 3, 2012 and September 3, 2012. The data used in this release is from a sub-sample of 6,774 citizens in the 12 countries for which tracking data is available since 1992 around environmental concerns.

In Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Panama, and Turkey urban samples were used. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 4.3 to 4.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Country
Sample Size (unweighted)
Field dates
Sample frame
Survey methodology
Type of sample
Australia 1009 July 27 – August 11, 2012 18+ Telephone National
Brazil 828 July 26 – August 23, 2012 18-69 Face-toface Urban1
Canada 1007 July 20 – August 8, 2012 18+ Telephone National
China 1000 July 30 – August 15, 2012 18+ Telephone Urban2
France 825 July 5 – 12, 2012 15+ Telephone National
Germany 1002 July 13 – August 6, 2012 16-70 Telephone National
India 1010 August 7 – 16, 2012 18+ Face-to-face National
Indonesia 1000 July 3 – 18, 2012 18+ Face-to-face Urban3
Japan 1000 August 1 – 5, 2012 20-69 Online National
Kenya 1000 August 19 – 25, 2012 18+ Face-to-face Urban4
Malaysia 1212 July 3 – 31, 2012 21+ Face-to-face National
Mexico 1000 August 9 – 13, 2012 18+ Face-to-face National
Nigeria 1000 August 13 – 19, 2012 18+ Face-to-face National
Pakistan 2375 July 22–28, 2012 18+ Face-to-face National
Panama 1005 July 28 – August 10, 2012 18+ Telephone Urban5
Peru 1007 August 10–18, 2012 18-70 Face-to-face National
Poland 1011 August 14–22, 2012 18+ Face-to-face National
South Korea 703 August 13–17, 2012 18+ Telephone National
Spain 800 July 12–20, 2012 18+ Telephone National
Turkey 1002 July 12 – September 3, 2012 15+ Face-to-face Urban6
United Kingdom 1001 July 3 – August 18, 2012 18+ Telephone National
USA 1015 July 20  August 9, 2012 18+ Telephone National
  1. In Brazil the survey was conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and São Paulo, representing 18 per cent of the national population.
  2. In China the survey was conducted in Beijing, Beiliu, Chengdu, Dujiangyan, Fenyang, Fuyang, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Manzhouli, Quanzhou, Qujing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shuangcheng, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xining, and Zhengzhou, representing 45 per cent of the national adult population.
  3. In Indonesia the survey was conducted in Bandung, Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, and Surabaya, representing 27 per cent of the national adult population.
  4. In Kenya the survey was conducted in Nairobi, Nyanza, Riff Valley, and the Central, Coast, Eastern and Western Regions, representing 37 per cent of the national adult population.
  5. In Panama the survey was conducted in Panamá, Chiriquí, Colón, Coclé, Veraguas, Herrera, Bocas del Toro and Los Santos, representing 70 per cent of the adult population.
  6. In Turkey the survey was conducted in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Samsun, and Zonguldak, representing 56 per cent of the national adult population.

 

Research Partners


CountryResearch InstituteLocationContact
Australia GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
Brazil Market Analysis Florianópolis Fabián Echegaray
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+55 48 3364 0000
Canada GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
China GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
France Efficience 3 Paris and Rheims Christian de Thieulloy
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+33 1 4316 5442
Germany Ri*QUESTA GmbH Teningen Bernhard Rieder
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+49 7641 93 43 36
India Team C Voter Noida Yashwant Deshmukh
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+91 120 424 7135
Indonesia DEKA Marketing Research Jakarta Irma Malibari
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+62 21 723 6901
Japan GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
Kenya Research Path Associates Ltd. Nairobi Jeremy Mwololo
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+254 20 2734770
Malaysia International Islamic University Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Syed Arabi Idid
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+60 3 6196 4870 (ext 5097)
Mexico Parametría Mexico City Francisco Abundis
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+52 55 2614 0089
Nigeria Market Trends International Lagos Jo Ebhomenye
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+234 1 791 7987
Pakistan Gallup Pakistan Islamabad Ijaz Shafi Gilani
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+92 51 2655630
Panama Dichter & Neira Panama City Gabriel Neira
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+507 236 4000
Peru Datum Lima Urpi Torrado
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+511 215 0600
Poland CBOS Warsaw Mirosława Grabowska
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+48 22 693 46 93
South Korea Hyundai Research Institute Seoul Seongkeun Choi
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+82 2 2072 6223
Spain Sigma Dos Int. Madrid Gines Garrido
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+34 91 360 0474
Turkey Yöntem Research Consultancy Ltd. Istanbul Bülent Gündoğmuş
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+90 212 278 1219
United Kingdom Populus Data Solutions London Patrick Diamond
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+44 207 553 4148
USA GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
 

Question Wording

How serious a problem do you consider each of the following issues to be? Is each of the following a very serious problem, somewhat serious problem, not very serious problem or not a serious problem at all? 

ROTATE ORDER. CODE ONE.

01 - Shortages of fresh water
02 - Water pollution
03 - Depletion of natural resources
04 - Air pollution
05 - Loss of biodiversity
06 - Climate change
07 - Automobile emissions
97 - Other
99 - DK/NA

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