Climate change is an ’emergency,’ majority says in unique gaming app survey sent to 1.2 million people in 17 languages


A solid 64% of global citizens believe that climate change is an “emergency” that must be addressed urgently, yet just 10% believe world leaders are doing enough, according to what some claim is the largest and most unique survey on the matter yet conducted.

The People’s Climate Vote surveyed 1.2 million people in 50 countries using ads in 17 well-known mobile gaming apps. Respondents represent 56% of the world’s people over the age of 14, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which worked with pollsters at the University of Oxford to conduct the survey.

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Cassie Flynn, UNDP’s strategic adviser on climate change and head of its Climate Promise initiative, told Al Jazeera, that she helped design the approach after learning the gaming industry has access to 2.7 billion people worldwide, more than the movie and music industries combined.

Respondents were asked if climate change was a global emergency and whether they supported 18 key climate policies across six areas: economy, energy, transport, food and farms, nature and protecting people.  

The most popular climate policies were conserving forests and land (54% public support), more solar
wind and renewable power (53%)
adopting climate-friendly farming techniques (52%) and investing more in green businesses and jobs (50%). 

“The results clearly illustrate that urgent climate action has broad support amongst people around the globe, across nationalities, age, gender and education level,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “But more than that, the poll reveals how people want their policymakers to tackle the crisis and signals ways in which countries can move forward with public support as we work together to tackle this enormous challenge.”

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U.S. President Joe Biden has given climate change a focus in his first full week in office. He is set to announce Wednesday a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, as his administration moves to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment.

Biden has already triggered the return of the U.S. to the voluntary Paris Climate Agreement that U.S. allies have stuck with since its launch five years ago.

Younger people (aged 14-18) were more likely to say climate change is an emergency than older people, with nearly 70% saying as much in the People’s Climate Vote. Other age groups were not far behind, with 65% of those 18-35 agreeing, 66% aged 36-59, and 58% over 60.

Widely followed teen climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted the findings, renewing her emphasis on listening to the youth caucus on climate change since they’ll deal with its repercussions longer than those currently in power.


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