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People globally want their governments to take stronger action to tackle the climate crisis
by UN Development Programme, University of Oxford
June 2024
The biggest ever public opinion survey on climate change, the Peoples’ Climate Vote 2024, shows 80 percent – or four out of five – people globally want their governments to take stronger action to tackle the climate crisis.
Even more – 86 percent – want to see their countries set aside geopolitical differences and work together on climate change. The scale of consensus is especially striking in the current global context of increased conflict and the rise of nationalism.
Over 73,000 people speaking 87 different languages across 77 countries were asked 15 questions on climate change for the survey, which was conducted for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) with the University of Oxford and GeoPoll. The questions were designed to help understand how people are experiencing the impacts of climate change and how they want world leaders to respond. The 77 countries polled represent 87 percent of the global population.
“The Peoples’ Climate Vote is loud and clear. Global citizens want their leaders to transcend their differences, to act now and to act boldly to fight the climate crisis,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “The survey results – unprecedented in their coverage – reveal a level of consensus that is truly astonishing. We urge leaders and policymakers to take note, especially as countries develop their next round of climate action pledges – or ‘nationally determined contributions’ under the Paris Agreement. This is an issue that almost everyone, everywhere, can agree on.”
Biggest emitters support stronger climate action
The survey revealed support for stronger climate action in 20 of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, with majorities ranging from 66 percent of people in the United States and Russia, to 67 percent in Germany, 73 percent in China, 77 percent in South Africa and India, 85 percent in Brazil, 88 percent in Iran and up to 93 percent in Italy.
In five big emitters (Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United States), women were more in favour of strengthening their country’s commitments by 10 to 17 percentage points. This gap was biggest in Germany, where women were 17 percentage points more likely than men to want more climate action (75 percent vs. 58 percent.)
Fossil fuel phaseout
Aside from a broad call for bolder climate action, the survey shows support by a global majority of 72 percent in favour of a quick transition away from fossil fuels. This is true for countries among the top 10 biggest producers of oil, coal, or gas. This includes majorities ranging from 89 percent in Nigeria to 54 percent of people in the United States. Only 7 percent of people globally said their country should not transition at all.
People across the world reported that climate change was on their minds. Globally, 56 percent said they were thinking about it regularly, i.e. daily or weekly, including some 63 percent of those in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
More than half of people globally said they were more worried than last year about climate change (53 percent). The corresponding figure was higher for those in LDCs (59 percent). On average across the nine Small Island Developing States (SIDS) surveyed, as much as 71 percent said they were more worried than last year about climate change. 69 percent of people globally said their big decisions like where to live or work were being impacted by climate change.
Prof. Stephen Fisher, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, said: “A survey of this size was a huge scientific endeavour. While maintaining rigorous methodology, special efforts were also made to include people from marginalised groups in the poorest parts of the world. This is some of the very highest quality global data on public opinions on climate change available.”
Cassie Flynn, Global Director of Climate Change, UNDP, said: “As country leaders decide on the next round of pledges under the Paris Agreement by 2025, these results are undeniable evidence that people everywhere support bold climate action. The Peoples’ Climate Vote has enlisted the voices of people everywhere – including amongst groups traditionally the most difficult to poll. For example, people in nine of the 77 countries surveyed had never before been polled on climate change. The next two years are crucial for the international community to take actions to ensure that warming stays under 1.5°."

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Fossil fuel firms the 'enablers of planetary destruction', says UN chief
by UN News, agencies
June 2024
In a major speech on World Environment Day, Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations has called on all news and tech media platforms to stop enabling “planetary destruction” by taking fossil-fuel advertising money while warning the world faces “climate crunch time” in its faltering attempts to stem the crisis.
In his speech, Guterres announced new data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showing there is an 80% chance the planet will breach 1.5C (2.7F) in warming above pre-industrial times in at least one of the next five calendar years.
The past 12 months have already breached this level, with the average global temperature 1.63C (2.9F) higher than the pre-industrial average from June 2023 to May of this year, following a string of months with record-breaking heat, according to the European Union’s Copernicus monitoring system.
Governments agreed in the 2015 Paris climate pact to restrain the global temperatures rise to 1.5C to avoid cascading heatwaves, floods, droughts and other ruinous impacts. While a single year beyond this limit does not mean the target has been lost, scientists widely expect this to happen in the coming decade.
"The bleak reality that we are way off track to meet the goals set in the Paris agreement”, says Ko Barrett, secretary general of the WMO.
According to the WMO, there is a roughly 50-50 chance that the period of 2024 to 2028 will average above 1.5C in warming, globally.
Antonio Guterres: "Why all this fuss about 1.5 degrees? Because our planet is a mass of complex, connected systems. And every fraction of a degree of global heating counts. The difference between 1.5 and two degrees could be the difference between extinction and survival for island states and coastal communities.
The difference between minimizing climate chaos or crossing dangerous tipping points. 1.5 degrees is not a target. It is not a goal. It is a physical limit.
Scientists have alerted us that temperatures rising higher would likely mean: The collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet with catastrophic sea level rise; The destruction of tropical coral reef systems and the livelihoods of 300 million people; The collapse of the Labrador Sea Current that would further disrupt weather patterns in Europe; And widespread permafrost melt that would release devastating levels of methane, one of the most potent heat-trapping gasses.
Even today, we’re pushing planetary boundaries to the brink – shattering global temperature records and reaping the whirlwind. And it is a travesty of climate justice that those least responsible for the crisis are hardest hit: the poorest people; the most vulnerable countries; Indigenous Peoples; women and girls. The richest one per cent emit as much as two-thirds of humanity.
And extreme events turbocharged by climate chaos are piling up: Destroying lives, pummelling economies, and hammering health; Wrecking sustainable development; forcing people from their homes; and rocking the foundations of peace and security – as people are displaced and vital resources depleted.
Already this year, a brutal heatwave has baked Asia with record temperatures – shrivelling crops, closing schools, and killing people.
Cities from New Delhi, to Bamako, to Mexico City are scorching. In the US, savage storms have destroyed communities and lives.
We’ve seen drought disasters declared across southern Africa; Extreme rains flood the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Brazil; And a mass global coral bleaching caused by unprecedented ocean temperatures, soaring past the worst predictions of scientists.
The cost of all this chaos is hitting people where it hurts: From supply-chains severed, to rising prices for essentials, mounting food insecurity, and uninsurable homes and businesses. That bill will keep growing. Even if emissions hit zero tomorrow, a recent study found that climate chaos will still cost at least $38 trillion a year by 2050. Climate change is the mother of all taxes paid by everyday people and vulnerable countries and communities".
“We are playing Russian roulette with our planet,” Guterres said. “We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell.”
“Like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, we’re having an outsized impact. In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs – we are the meteor. We are not only in danger – we are the danger.”
Guterres insisted that the 1.5C target was “still just about possible” but said there needed to be far greater effort from countries to slash carbon emissions, to boost climate finance to poorer countries, and for the fossil-fuel industry to be made pariahs by governments, the media and other businesses for its role in causing the climate crisis.
“The godfathers of climate chaos – the fossil-fuel industry – rake in record profits and feast off trillions in taxpayer-funded subsidies,” he said. “It is a disgrace that the most vulnerable are being left stranded, struggling desperately to deal with a climate crisis they did nothing to create.
“We cannot accept a future where the rich are protected in air-conditioned bubbles, while the rest of humanity is lashed by lethal weather in unlivable lands.”
I urge financial institutions to stop bankrolling fossil fuel destruction and start investing in a global renewables revolution; To present public, credible and detailed plans to transition funding from fossil fuels to clean energy with clear targets for 2025 and 2030; And to disclose your climate risks – both physical and transitional – to your shareholders and regulators. Ultimately such disclosure should be mandatory.
"We must secure the safest possible future for people and planet. That means taking urgent action, particularly over the next eighteen months: To slash emissions; To protect people and nature from climate extremes; To boost climate finance; And to clamp down on the fossil fuel industry".
Guterres attacked fossil-fuel firms for their meagre investments in cleaner forms of energy and for “distorting the truth, deceiving the public and sowing doubt” about climate science.
"I call for government bans on fossil-fuel advertising and for public relations and media companies to cut all ties with oil, gas and coal interests. Many governments restrict or prohibit advertising for products that harm human health, like tobacco,” he said. “I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil-fuel companies. I urge news media and tech companies to stop taking fossil-fuel advertising. “I call on these companies to stop acting as enablers to planetary destruction. Fossil fuels are poisoning our planet.”
Mr. Guterres welcomed the growth in investment in wind, solar and other renewable sources, predicting that “economic logic makes the end of the fossil-fuel age inevitable”, but added that governments must hasten the phase-out of fossil fuels.
“It’s ‘we, the peoples’ versus the polluters and the profiteers,” he said. “It’s time for leaders to decide whose side they’re on.”

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