STOCKHOLM, September 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Majority of South African respondents view climate change as a severe threat to mankind, rule human activity as primary cause
Concerns about climate change, its long-term effects and political counteractions are among the key issues addressed by respondents to a Global Challenges Foundation survey to understand public views on climate change, poverty and armed conflicts. South Africa joins eight other countries in responding that climate change is a threat to mankind and both political and personal actions are necessary to counter its effects.
In today's release, the Global Challenges Foundation provides a comparative, international look at public views on climate change among nine countries: the United States, Brazil, China, Russia, Poland, Germany, India, South Africa and Sweden. Over 1,000 online surveys were conducted in each country, commissioned in February 2014. Of respondents in South Africa, 71% definitively believe that climate change is a severe threat to mankind, with 88% marking human activity primarily in the form of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation as the main reason for global warming.
"This survey was commissioned by the Global Challenges Foundation to provide insights on a global scale of how the public views changes in our environment and what solutions may be necessary to address them," said Johan Rockström, Professor in Environmental Science and board member of the foundation. "The results of this survey provide a surprisingly strong signal to world leaders that they have a mandate from citizens across the world to act, and furthermore that there is a willingness among individuals to make considerable personal sacrifices today, in order to avoid future climate catastrophes."
Overall, respondents in South Africa are highly concerned about climate change and support both personal and political actions:
- Climate change is a severe threat to mankind. 71% of respondents from South Africa agree that climate change is a severe threat to mankind, with an additional 23% categorising climate change as a possible severe threat. 88% said human activity in the form of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation is the main reason for global warming, with only 10% blaming natural variations.
- Not enough is being done politically. Respondents from South Africa are the least likely than those from other countries to believe that enough is being done at a political level to counteract climate change in order to eliminate the risk of extreme climate catastrophes. 41% definitely believe enough is not being done, with 43% relaying that enough is probably not being done, for a total of 84%.
- Individuals are willing to sacrifice to prevent extreme climate catastrophes. South African respondents, along with those of India, are the most willing to sacrifice to prevent extreme climate catastrophes. In total, 68% of respondents from South Africa believe definitely that we should try to prevent extreme climate catastrophes (which might not occur for several centuries) even if this requires considerable sacrifices from us today, with 26% responding that such catastrophes should maybe be prevented.
About the Global Challenges Foundation
The Global Challenges Foundation was founded in Sweden at the end of 2011 by investor László Szombatfalvy. Since the beginning of 2013, Margot Wallström, former EU Commissioner and Swedish Government Minister, and Johan Rockström, Executive Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre and Professor in Environmental Science at Stockholm University, have joined the Board. Margot Wallström is the official spokesperson of the foundation.
For the full survey results, please use the following link: http://globalchallenges.org/globalsurvey
For more information, please contact:
Carin Ism, Coordinator
Global Challenges Foundation
114 35 Stockholm Sweden
SOURCE Global Challenges Foundation