Climate change increasingly on people’s minds

Map of world in rainforest. | Newsreel
More people around the globe are worried about climate change. | Photo: Petmal (iStock)

More than half the world’s population think about climate change on a weekly basis and are more worried about its impact now than this time last year.

The statistics were revealed in the latest People’s Climate Vote, conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Oxford.

The UNDP said the Vote was the world’s largest standalone public opinion survey on climate change.

It said the 2024 survey was held across 77 countries, representing 87 percent of the world’s population, and asked citizens their views on climate change.

The UNDP said the questions in the 2024 survey had never been put to people in any survey before and asked how people’s day-to-day lives were impacted by climate change, how they feel it was being addressed in their countries and what they would like the world to do about it.

“The results give the most comprehensive public account yet of how people feel and respond to climate change,” the organisation said in a statement.

The survey found over half (56 percent) of people globally thought about climate change daily or weekly, with 11 percent saying they never thought about climate change.

Of the 53 percent of people globally who said they were more worried about climate change now than they were last year, the greatest fear was in the Pacific with 80 percent of Fijians more concerned.

The survey found almost half (49 percent) of people said their country was doing well in tackling climate change, however, 80 percent wanted their country to strengthen their commitments to climate change and 72 percent wanted their country to transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

In general, women are more concerned about climate change than men, with the gap in Australia among the largest in the world, with 11 percent more women than men here concerned about climate change.

That gap was only larger in Germany (17 percent) and Canada (14 percent) and equal with the United States.

Read the full survey report.