China Survey

71% of people interviewed gave their support to their government curbing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the Paris Agreement.

Concern about climate change among people in China—the world’s biggest carbon polluter—has plummeted in the past five years, according to new research. The Chinese were the least concerned among 40 nations surveyed.

A recent US Pew Research Center report shows that only 18% of Chinese citizens are seriously concerned about the issue, a drop of 23 points since 2010. China ranked as the country where citizens were least concerned about the issue among 40 nations participating in the study.

Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of Chinese people support a global deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the research states.

Bruce Stokes, the co-author of the report, said there was “frankly, no explanation” for the drop, but suggested as a possible reason that “there must not be as much public discussion about climate change in China as there are in other parts of the world”.

In 2010, China overtook the US to become both the biggest producer and biggest consumer of energy in the world. Its government has been applauded by some for its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60-65% from 2005 levels and to see its emissions peak by 2030.

Despite their lack of concern about climate change, when asked which domestic issues they found most problematic, Chinese participants consistently named air pollution near the top. Air pollution is thought to cause thousands of deaths every day in the country, with coal accounting for two-thirds of China’s energy consumption.

Despite the apparent absence of anxiety in China, 71% of people interviewed gave their support to their government curbing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the Paris Agreement.

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Climate change concern among Chinese citizens plummets, research finds, The Guardian, Emma E Howard, November 5, 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/05/climate-change-concerns-chinese-citizens-plummets