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United States Survey

On April 17, 2017, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication published an additional study of data gathered from registered voters in the time leading up to the 2016 federal election showing that 69% of registered voters believed the U.S. should participate in the Paris Agreement.

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication recently published a survey of adults’ perceptions of climate change across the United States from 2008-2016, based on statistical models drawn from survey data of over 18,000 respondents over the age of 25 in the United States, combined with Census data from the same time period. Full access to the data is provided here: http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/. This interactive platform provides a visual depiction of the geographically-varied data, and can be used to estimate public perceptions of global warming and related issues at the county, state, and national level, as well as by congressional district.

The most significant finding of this survey is that, despite the efforts of very conservative politicians to convince the population that global warming is a hoax, 70% of adult Americans believe that global warming is happening, compared to only 12% of adult Americans who do not believe that global warming is happening.

While these numbers are reflective of positive trends in American perceptions of climate change, more than one in ten Americans does not believe in global warming, a larger number than would be comforting to proponents of international action on climate change.

The location with the largest percentage of respondents who believe that global warming is happening is Washington, D.C., and the highest percentages by county tend to be coastal counties, likely those that face the greatest threat from sea level rise. Lower percentages tend to be found in inland counties that tend to vote Republican, although the study points out that political party affiliation is not necessarily correlated with increased or decreased percentages of global warming believers.

Although, in a world with a global climate agreement that is entering its second year of force, it may seem that surveys investigating belief in global warming lag behind the modern pace of the world, the United States’ federal administration has indicated its intentions to act directly in opposition to climate change mitigation on the basis that global warming is a hoax. Therefore, it is more important now than ever to demonstrate that more than half of Americans do, in fact, believe that global warming is happening.

On April 17, 2017, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication published an additional study of data gathered from registered voters in the time leading up to the 2016 federal election showing that 69% of registered voters believed the U.S. should participate in the Paris Agreement. This survey and its results can be found here: http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/5-1-voters-say-u-s-participate-paris-climate-agreement/. Also shown by this survey is that almost half of Trump voters believed the U.S. should participate in the Paris Agreement (47% ), compared to 27% who believed the U.S. should not. This finding is significant, because it shows that, contrary to statements by President Trump that most of his voters support pulling out of the agreement, a majority of Americans support the U.S.’ participation in it.

Learn More

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication website:
http://climatecommunication.yale.edu
New York Times, “How Americans Think About Climate Change, in Six Maps:”
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/03/21/climate/how-americans-think-about-climate-change-in-six-maps.html?mcubz=0

United Kingdom

In Wave 1 of a tracking study in 2012, 15% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 38% registered human activity-only responses. In Wave 21, 5 years later, 10% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 42% registered human-activity only responses.

In March 2012, the UK Governments’ Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), launched the ‘Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker’ survey. A new ‘wave’ of this survey is completed four times every year. In ‘Wave 22’ – June to July 2017 – face-to-face home interviews were conducted in 2097 households across the UK. This sample was chosen using the Kantar TNS Omnibusa, which utilizes the ‘random location quota sampling method’.

Regarding attitudes to climate change, the first question asked in each survey ‘wave’ is: ‘How concerned, if at all, are you about current climate change?’. The possible answers are ‘Very’, ‘Fairly’, Not Very’ and ‘Not at All’ Concerned, as well as ‘Don’t Know’. In Wave 2, 65% registered ‘concerned’ responses, whilst 35% registered ‘unconcerned’ responses. In Wave 21, 71% registered ‘concerned’ responses, whilst 27% registered ‘unconcerned’ responses. This represents a flip, over 5 years, of +6% of the public being concerned, and -8% of the public being unconcerned.

The second question asked on climate change is: ‘Thinking about the causes of climate change, which, if any, of the following best describes your opinion?’ The possible answers include climate change being, ‘Entirely’ or ‘Mainly’ caused by natural processes, ‘Entirely’ or ‘Mainly’ caused by human activity, ‘Partly Caused by Both’, ‘I don’t think there is such a thing as climate change’, or ‘Don’t Know’. In Wave 1, 15% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 38% registered human activity-only responses. In Wave 21, 10% registered natural process-only responses, whilst 42% registered human-activity only responses. This shows a flip of -5% of the public considering that climate change is only the result of a natural process, and +4% of the public thinking that it is only the result of human activity. However, from Wave 1 to Wave 21 there was only a +1% change in responses that state climate change is partly the result of both (42% to 43%).

Learn More

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-and-climate-change-public-attitudes-tracker-wave-22

Turkey Survey

92% of farmers surveyed agree that climate change is a problem all over the world;
and 93% believe that the reduction of forests directly affects the climate

The results of the Survey on Climate Change Awareness of Farmers held in December 2015 were published in a report in 2016.

Out of 200 farmers who participated in the survey, 56% were primary and secondary school graduates, while the remaining 44% were trained in high schools and universities and received master degrees. 60% of the respondents were farming for 20 years or more. The average size of each farmers land was 110 acres, which is approximately two times the Turkey average.

Some of the survey results are as follows:
92% of farmers agree that climate change is a problem all over the world
93% of the farmers stated that the reduction of forests directly affects the climate
93% of farmers report that agricultural production is at risk in extreme weather conditions

In short, the vast majority of the farmers participating in the survey accept that the climate change is a major problem that affects their agricultural production. They are also willing to cooperate in taking measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. The awareness seems to be high but this may be due to the fact that farmers are most affected by climate change and feel their immediate impact.

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Çiftçilerde İklim Değişimi Farkındalığı Anket Sonuçları 2016

Thailand Survey

Climate change related disaster risk reduction traits differs considerably by gender. For instance, women have a greater likelihood of collecting emergency supplies, formulating a family emergency plan and are more than likely to out-migrate from tsunami-vulnerable areas.

A research paper by Nopphol Witvorapong, Raya Muttarak and Wirapom Pothisiri looks in-depth into both the 2004 and 2012 tsunami events in Thailand, which are the end-result of climate change processes. The linkage between climate change processes and the tsunami events were addressed in a 2009 article by Reuters. The article highlights a statement made by Professor Bill McGuire from University College London. Professor Bill McGuire told Reuters during an interview that “When the ice is lost, the earth’s crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis,”. The survey presented in the research paper stresses that climate induced natural disasters like tsunamis might be more intensified in the near-future, which in turn might increase the level of disaster risks and vulnerability levels in Thailand amongst poorer/marginalized sections of the society, elderly people, children, women and livestock populations.

Phang Nga province in Thailand was selected as an appropriate study site for the survey because the province was one of the hardest-hit areas among the six tsunami-affected provinces in Thailand during the 2004 tsunami. In the Phang Nga province, there were widespread losses of human lives along with massive economic losses resulting from damages to buildings and infrastructures. On April 11, 2012, an earthquake of magnitude 8.6 occurred under the Indian Ocean floor, which happened in northern Sumatra just 434 kilometres southwest of the Banda Aceh province in Indonesia. Following the earthquake there was another major shock of magnitude 8.2 followed by a series of aftershocks. As a result, there was a tsunami alert generated in the countries situated along the Indian Ocean, which also included Phang Nga province and the provinces situated in the western coastlines of southern Thailand. In 2012, a major tsunami event did not occur similar to the one in 2004 as the plate moved horizontally rather than vertically. Similarly, in April 16, 2012 an earthquake of magnitude 4.3 occurred and the epicenter was in Thalang district, situated just 22 kilometres from the Phang Nga province in Thailand. The earthquake was followed by around 26 aftershocks between 16 and 22 April 2012.

After the 2012 earthquakes in the Indian Ocean, the research paper by Witvorapong et.al 2015 conducted a survey of 640 households in total from which 563 households were successfully interviewed, which gave the total response rate of 88%. The 563 households surveyed were living in tsunami-prone areas in Phang Nga, Thailand. The survey took place from 17 April 2012 to May 13 2012 and the survey data types typically included both individual and community-level data. For the survey, the participants included were the head of a household, the spouse or a household member aged 15 years or older. The core objective of the survey was to assess the tsunami-preparedness levels and extent of vulnerability amongst the 563 households surveyed. One of the main findings of the survey is that tsunami preparedness levels along with the likelihood of undertaking risk reduction actions is highly correlated with social participation whereas the extent of vulnerability decreases as social participation increases. For instance, individuals who are associated with increased involvement in community activities will have greater likelihood of following disaster-related news very closely, having adequate emergency supplies and having a well-developed family emergency plan.

Another key finding of the survey, considers the suitable individual, household and community-level variables, which are associated with disaster risk reduction traits. It has been identified that an adverse effect from the 2004 tsunami is a driving force leading to preventive actions, which include behaviors like following disaster-related news closely and having a plan to migrate. In addition, the survey results find that, having experienced a tsunami event is not highly correlated with the likelihood of preparing emergency supplies and having a well-developed family emergency plan. Here, the survey findings indicate that while previous experience in a tsunami event might be positively associated with increasing the preparedness level in general. However, having experienced a tsunami event does not always strengthen the preparedness measures. Furthermore, the survey findings highlight that individuals having tertiary education are more than likely to collect/gather supplies and implement a family emergency plan whereas having prior tsunami experience does not lead such actions.

Finally, the findings point out that disaster risk reduction traits differs considerably by gender. For instance, women have a greater likelihood of collecting emergency supplies, formulating a family emergency plan and are more than likely to out-migrate from tsunami-vulnerable areas. The findings also highlight from the community level perspective that a community possessing greater proportion of highly educated women will have a greater tsunami preparedness level as education increases the access to socio-economic resources and disaster-related information. The survey findings address the crucial role that educated women play, which in turn decreases the extent of vulnerability amongst the community by reducing malaria risk amongst children, decreasing disaster-related deaths, and further strengthening their adaptive capacity. A community with more educated women will be able to effectively adapt and cope with a tsunami event.

Therefore, the core findings of the research survey, is both on the linkage between individual and community-level perspectives. From the individual level perspective, the surveys indicates how an individual’s involvement in community-based activities leads to greater disaster preparedness and intention to out migrate from disaster prone areas thus increasing the extent of social participation within a community-level. Finally, the enhancement of social participation within a community, is recognized as an imperative for decreasing vulnerability levels and disaster risks.

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To learn more about the research survey that was conducted in Phang Nga province Thailand please visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4495990/
To learn more about the article by Reuters, which provides the linkage between climate change processes and tsunami events, please see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-geology/global-warming-may-bring-tsunami-and-quakes-scientists-idUSTRE58F62I20090916

Spain Survey

95% of the Spanish population would “impose strict controls and heavy penalties” on industries that damage the environment.

Metroscopia is a one of the most prestigious public opinion research institutes in Spain. In 2016, Metroscopia made a survey in Spain asking about “Sustainability” and the results showed that 87% of the Spanish population consider it necessary to create more green spaces and 95% of the Spanish population would “impose strict controls and heavy penalties” on industries that damage the environment. The study also showed that 71% of the Spanish population do not believe that the earth will be able to recover from the environmental damage that humans have created..

An analysis made by Rastreator.com in June of 2016 about the concerns of the Spanish population towards the environment and the use of renewable energy, shows that 53% of the Spanish population would be willing to pay more for energy from renewable sources and 92.8% think that renewable energy should be promoted. The survey showed that the autonomous communities of Murcia, Extremadura and the Canarias islands are the ones more aware of the necessity to preserve the environment.

From these numbers, it is possible to tell that most of Spain is aware of the need to accomplish the goals of the Paris Agreement and that if the main actors, meaning government and industrial leaders, take actions to preserve the environment then the people will support them.

South Korea Survey

Only 20% of the general public respondents answered that mitigation is important, which indicates that more efforts should be made to promote awareness of climate change to the public.

A 2015 Comparative Study of Perception of the Public and Stakeholders to Climate Change Adaptation can be evaluated as the country’s first national awareness survey on adaptation to climate change. The study’s authors evaluated the conceptual recognition of climate change-related terms in order to evaluate the conceptual perception about climate change. The concept of climate change, especially mitigation and adaptation, is not easily understandable to the general public. In this study, the authors use Kyoto Protocol, IPCC, weather change, mitigation/adaptation, greenhouse gas and sea level rise as the terms related to climate change.

The findings from the survey and policy recommendations can be summarized as follows. First, only 20% of the general public respondents answered that mitigation is important, which indicates that more efforts should be made to promote awareness of climate change to the public. Second, the level of awareness of the public in responding to climate change is significantly lower than that of environmental stakeholders. The response rate of the general public perceiving climate change mitigation concept is about three times lower than that of stakeholders and the rate for adaptation was about four times lower. (See Figure 2 below.) These results suggest that it is necessary to diversify and promote information about climate change through public education programs.

Learn More

Yunji Jeong and Jongsik Ha, “The Comparative Study of Perception of the Public and Stakeholder to Climate Change Adaptation,” Journal of Climate Change Research Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015).

The following table (Table 1) shows you the demographic composition of their survey respondents.

South Africa Survey

Climate change is viewed by South Africans as the top international threat to national security (ranking at 59%).

During spring 2017, the US based Pew Research Center conducted a public opinion poll among 38 countries regarding eight possible threats to national security.

It is evident from the graph above that climate change is viewed by South Africans as the top international threat (ranking at 59%).

This high-level view of the general sentiment among South Africans is supported by a recent survey (30 March 2017 to 26 April 2017) by professional services firm, PWC. The GHG Market Sentiment Survey was conducted with 135 respondents from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) member representatives from a broad range of locations and organization types. Their findings indicate that climate change action in South Africa “is a must for corporates and policymakers”. Indeed, 77% of respondents viewed climate change as a priority for their board.

Learn More

Survey conducted by PEW: http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/01/globally-people-point-to-isis-and-climate-change-as-leading-security-threats/
IETA market sentiment survey:
http://www.ieta.org/resources/Market%20sentiment%20survey/IETA%20GHG%20Market%20Sentiment%20Survey%202017_FINAL_lowres.pdf

Saudi Arabia Survey

The questionnaires focused on exploring the approach of the construction sector stakeholders to sustainable buildings both at the development and operational phases of projects. The findings of the survey indicate that the Saudi building industry has yet to realize the importance of sustainability.

To investigate the prospects of sustainable buildings in Saudi Arabia, two researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals conducted a study in September 2014 to analyze the results of a questionnaire survey conducted with pertinent professionals. The survey targeted the representatives of the key professions in the Saudi construction industry including architects, engineers, project managers, construction contractors, developers and investors. More than 500 questionnaires were distributed randomly amongst the professionals in the Saudi building industry covering the major cities in the country. The questionnaires, conducted between December 2011 and February 2012 employing web-based and in-person approaches, were designed both in English and Arabic. The analysis is based upon 122 responses received from architects, engineers, project managers, construction contractors, developers and investors.

The questionnaires focus on exploring the approach of the construction sector stakeholders to sustainable buildings both at the development and operational phases of projects. The findings of the survey indicate that the Saudi building industry has yet to realize the importance of sustainability. The participants were asked to rank several factors such as cost, modernity, development time, architectural outfits, quality and durability, safety, and sustainability in terms of their priority score where 1 is the most important and 7 is the least important. 75% of the participants considered cost and quality and durability to be the most important factor while most of the participants placed sustainability in the rank 7 as the least important factor.

The survey found that the level of formal education and work experience tend to have a positive influence on the appreciation of sustainable buildings. Participants with higher education levels (architect, engineer, and project manager) tend to have a higher level of knowledge of principles of sustainable-energy buildings with 43% for architects and 35% for engineers and project managers. Similarly, the experience with principles of sustainable-energy buildings is positively correlated with years of experience. Participants with 5 years or less of experience have less than 30% knowledge of sustainable buildings while those with 20 years and more had over 40% knowledge of sustainable buildings.

Learn More

Saudi Building Industry’s Views on Sustainability in Buildings: Questionanaire Survey. Farajallah Alrashed and Muhammad Asif. September 2014. Accessed from
http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1876610214034316/1-s2.0-S1876610214034316-main.pdf?_tid=afedfd36-8b32-11e7-968b-00000aab0f6b&acdnat=1503843727_fc0ab019931071de28858e292413fa1a

Russia Survey

Almost half of the respondents see the problem of climate change as a warning to future generations. A third of the respondents think that this problem needs to be addressed now, and one out of every seven respondents believes that global warming does not pose a threat to anyone.

In April 2016, a survey was conducted by Public Option Foundation and the question asked was about the biggest current threats that worry the Russian population. The survey covered fifteen hundred respondents from 104 settlements in 53 regions. According to the survey, the biggest threats for Russian people were international terrorism and nuclear war (35%). The other answers included: the threat of contamination of water, air and products, waste (22 %), natural disasters (19 %), deforestation and mass epidemics (18 %). Only 12% of the respondents said that climate change was a worrying problem for them, however, it could be observed that some of the responses in the survey were related to climate change issues (deforestation, waste production etc.). When the same question was asked in 2015, 15% of respondents were concerned with climate change problems, probably because in 2015 there was lots of media attention devoted to the Paris agreement discussion and people were more aware of the problem.

Another interesting survey related to climate change was conducted by the initiative of a working group of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation in June 2013. The survey’s goal was to test awareness of the population as regards to climate problems.

The results of the survey revealed the following: 54% – the overwhelming majority of respondents knew about climate change, 36% of the respondents heard something about climate change and global warming taking place on the planet.

Among the respondents who believe that the planet is experiencing global warming, 33% believe that the reason for is human activity, and 42% believe that human activity and natural processes are equally important.

Almost half of the respondents see the problem of climate change as a warning to future generations.

A third of the respondents thinks that this problem needs to be addressed now, and one out of every seven respondents believes that global warming does not pose a threat to anyone.

About 40% of respondents believe that humanity already understands the importance of the problem of climate change, and 17% of respondents believe that people will never comprehend the gravity of this issue.

More than 40% of the respondents believe that climate change is a serious problem, however it should not be prioritized but rather treated equally with other important problems.

The majority of respondents (more than 70%) believe that the problem of climate change must be discussed at the international level. And, according to 45% of the respondents, Russia should play a leading role in this and make unilateral commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Slightly less respondents (36.7%) did not agree with this strategy. More than half of the respondents (53%) would support the introduction of economic incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Russia.

At the same time, every third respondent found it difficult to answer this question.

The survey also addressed the possibility of respondents giving up some benefits for the sake of climate protection. 41.4% of respondents were ready to take such a step, 40.6% were not ready to change their habits to reduce climate change impacts.

Among those who are ready to take some actions: 42% said they could change their transportation habits, for example, stop using a car, use public transportation, use the car less often”, start using more environmentally friendly gasoline. About 9% of respondents said they could refuse to use plastic and polyethylene packaging.

Also, respondents said they were ready to abandon the use of certain types of household chemicals, aerosol cans, incandescent lamps, batteries. At the same time, about 10% of respondents said that nothing would force them to give up on certain benefits and habits for the sake climate change mitigation.

Learn More

http://kremlin.ru/events/administration/19203
http://climaterussia.ru/politika-i-finansy/poteplenie-k-izmeneniyu-klimata

Nigeria Survey

The findings of a survey conducted in 2015 of 379 public officials and university students in Lagos State and Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria showed that most of those surveyed (about 340 individuals) believed that human activities were a significant cause of climate change.

Knowledge of Global Warming and Climate Change among Rural Folks
A survey conducted in 2012 of 120 farmers and other residents of four rural communities in Cross River State, Nigeria sought to assess the level of awareness of climate change causes and mitigation/adaptation strategies. More than 80 of the respondents were aware of climate change and about 80 individuals believed that human activities could induce climate change (Egbe and others, 2013). Environmental education and sensitization by the civil society sector in the rural communities were the main source of local knowledge of climate change issues.

Knowledge of Climate Change among Public Officials and University Students
The findings of a survey conducted in 2015 of 379 public officials and university students in Lagos State and Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria showed that most of those surveyed (about 340 individuals) believed that human activities were a significant cause of climate change. They were more aware of local climate change impacts than of the effects across Nigeria; and their personal experience influenced their knowledge of and attitudes towards climate change (Ojomo and others, 2015).

Knowledge of Climate Change among Urban Residents
A survey was conducted in 2015 of 200 residents of urban parts of Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria. The results of the study which assessed respondents’ knowledge of global warming and mitigation measures indicate that while most respondents had significant knowledge of global warming, they were indifferent as to its importance. (Adio-Moses and Aladejana, 2015).

Learn More

The research paper on knowledge of global warming and climate change amsong rural folks is available at: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jsd/article/viewFile/34484/19647

The research paper on knowledge of climate change among public officials and university students can be found at: www.mdpi.com/2076-3298/2/4/435/pdf

The research paper on knowledge of climate change among urban residents is available at: http://www.abrmr.com/myfile/best_track/conference_24447.pdf