Just before world leaders assemble in Copenhagen to discuss climate change, a new global survey shows sharp differences among people in different countries about global warming.
Throwing up an interesting contrast in the world's two fastest growing nations, China and India, the Global Attitudes survey by the respected Pew Research Center shows 67 per cent Indians are worried about global warming as against just 30 per cent Chinese.
The survey, conducted from May 18 to June 16, shows that there is a lot less concern about climate change in the three major polluters US, Russia and China than in other leading nations.
Compared to 90 per cent in Brazil, 68 per cent in France, 67 per cent in India, 65 per cent in Japan, 61 per cent in Spain and 60 per cent in Germany, only 44 per cent in the US and Russia say they are concerned about climate change. At 30 per cent, the Chinese are least concerned about climate change, says the survey.
In fact, in India, China and Brazil which have enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, eight in 10 people favour giving priority to the environment over rapid economic expansion. According to the survey, people in these countries are willing to make sacrifices such as having to pay higher prices to protect the environment.
Anxiety about global warming is also less pervasive among Israelis (48 per cent), Kenyans (48 per cent), Canadians (47 per cent) and Indonesians (44 per cent).
However, large majorities in every country believe that global warming is a serious problem; with majorities in 15 of the 25 countries say it is "very serious." Also, majorities in 23 of 25 countries agree that protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the cost of slower economic growth and job losses.