Only 31% of people across the world feel their government has a clear plan in place for tackling climate change.
That’s according to a new study from the international market research organisation Ipsos who surveyed 30 different nations to discover the dismal findings.
The study assessed the confidence people felt in how their government would work with its people and businesses to tackle climate change, with less than a third of them feeling their government has a grip on the situation.
The news comes after New Zealand announced its clear plans for getting the country to carbon neutrality by 2050, and a third of this year’s wine harvest in France has just been wiped out due to the erratic climate.
In Australia, the government continues to gaslight its citizens on the matter, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently taking a swipe at “inner-city types” while announcing $539 million for ‘clean energy’ projects. The projects include investment in hydrogen production and carbon capture instead of, you know, actual renewable energy.
Australia is currently taking part in a summit of 40 world leaders headed by US President Joe Biden in which leaders are expected to announce short-term emissions reductions targets.
Morrison has promised a “technology not taxes” approach to the solution, despite the fact that there is no currently operating carbon capture facilities anywhere in the world and the technology is a Band-Aid at best.
People Losing Confidence
According to the new Ipsos study, people are feeling the burden of responsibility, with 72% worldwide agreeing that if ordinary people do not act now to combat climate change, they will be failing future generations.
More than two thirds of people surveyed globally (68%) say that if companies do not act to combat climate change, they are failing their employees and customers, while 65% believe if their government does not combat climate change, then it is failing citizens.
However, despite the high interest and concern about the environment, low public awareness of the plans underway suggests the public could be more effectively included, and engaged, to be part of the solution.
In Australia, just 29% of adults think the government has a clear plan in place to tackle
climate change, while 36% disagree. Belief that government has a clear plan is highest
in Saudi Arabia (64%), China (61%) and India (58%) and lowest in the United States
(18%) and Japan (16%).
Two-thirds of Australians (63%) believe that if the government doesn’t act now, it will
be failing its citizens. However, 39% believe tackling climate change should not be a
priority during the COVID-19 recovery.
Australians have made attempts during the pandemic to be more sustainable – 30%
have been doing more to avoid food waste, while a quarter are expected to travel
more on foot or by bike, rather than by car, and 38% expect they will buy only what
they really need instead of shopping for fun.
Two thirds (66%) of Australians surveyed agreed with the statement: “I understand
what action I need to take to play my part in tackling climate change” – just below the
global average of 69%.
When asked what changes they were likely to make in order to combat climate change
over the next year, avoiding excess packaging was still the most popular change
globally, with 59% expecting to make this change over the coming year. Australia sits
close to the global average.
All nations included in the Ipsos research have signed the Paris Agreement, and almost all
have submitted and published initial Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) or plans to tackle climate change.
Ipsos Australia Public Affairs Director, Stuart Clark said: “More than a third of Australians feel the government doesn’t have a clear plan to tackle climate change, which is slightly above the global average. These results show that there’s a need globally for more focus about what governments are doing to coordinate climate change action.
“Even with all the competing economic and health priorities that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, the public still has a very strong sense that urgent action on climate is necessary, so it’s imperative that our governments set a clear path and communicate it well.”
If all of this climate worry has you stressed, Jonica Newby’s new book is a soothing balm to the ongoing chaos and is a must-read for anyone experiencing climate grief.