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Indians worry most about climate change

A survey says Indians are most concerned about climate change, who consider it as the biggest concern along side terrorism, reports Aditya Ghosh.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2007 05:48 IST
Aditya Ghosh

THE TSUNAMI and the July 26, 2005 deluge have been a wake-up call on climate change for Indians, who ranked it as the biggest concern along side terrorism, in a recent survey.

The respondents indicated that hope for improvement lies in individual efforts more than government action.

This was revealed in a global survey on climate change with consumers in nine countries across four continents. The unreleased report titled HSBC Climate Confidence Survey 2007, found that citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) had least confidence on their governments and were least optimistic about tackling climate change.

The survey indicated that Indians are most concerned about climate change followed by Mexico and Brazil.

The most striking finding was lack of confidence of people in UK and US in their governments to arrest climate change.

“It shows how countries responsible for maximum emissions are skirting responsibilities. Even their people recognise it,” said union science and technology minister Kapil Sibal in Mumbai recently.

The Chinese (46 per cent of those polled) had the highest level of trust in the government to tackle climate change.

Indians were next, with 19 per cent. “We are responsible for the least amount of emissions and it is really up to the western countries to get their act together. At the government level, we are experimenting with various alternatives,” Sibal added.

In India, 60 per cent surveyed were concerned, 19 per cent confident about the government, 47 per cent expressed individual commitment to make a difference and 45 per cent were optimistic about arresting climate change.

On the contrary, in the UK, only 22 per cent were concerned, five per cent had faith in their government, 19 per cent were individually committed and six per cent had hope that the phenomenon could be reversed.