Strong Public Support for a Paris Agreement – GlobeScan Poll is Wrong
A recent global citizen consultation from 2015 involving 10,000 citizens in 76 countries documents that 78% of the global participants are very concerned about the impacts of climate change. A rise from 62% in 2009.
“There is good reason to believe that the GlobeScan poll is completely wrong. Citizens are far ahead of policy makers in their support for a strong Paris Agreement”, says Bjørn Bedsted, Global Coordinator of World Wide Views.
Pollsters typically spend few minutes on the phone or in the street, asking superficial questions while interrupting daily chores. Responses are therefore ill considered and results equally shallow. This is particularly relevant when it comes to complex issues like climate change, energy choices and say biodiversity loss as opposed to soap operas, fizzy drinks or the latest pop music sensation.
In contrast, World Wide Views is a structured citizen deliberation and consultation. Participating citizens, selected to reflect the demographic diversity in their country or region, were given balanced information and deliberated for a full day with other citizens, before voting about some of the same issues, decision makers are negotiating in Paris. This method, recently described in Nature, therefore provides results that are detailed, well-considered, and arguably considerably more solid and trustworthy than a poll.
The GlobeScan Poll
The providers of a recent poll claim that public concern about climate change and support for a strong climate deal has declined since 2009. They also claim to show that an average of 42% want their government to play a leadership role in setting ambitious targets.
The World Wide Views consultation: Citizens around the world are very concerned
Results from World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, the largest ever – and more recent – global citizen consultation involving 10,000 citizens in 76 countries, show something else and are in several ways irreconcilably contradictory. They show a rising level of concern from 2009 to 2015 (78% are now “very concerned” about the impacts of climate change – up from 62% in 2009 in a similar question) and they show that 63% of participants worldwide think that policymakers in Paris should decide in Paris to do whatever it takes to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. 79% want their country to take measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even if others don’t; and 97% want a Paris agreement to include a long-term goal for zero emissions at the end of this century.
Our advice to policy makers looking for solid information about the views of citizens on climate change is to visit http://climateandenergy.wwviews.org/.
For further information, please contact:
Bjørn Bedsted, Deputy Director and Head of DBT International at the Danish Board of Technology; Global Coordinator of World Wide Views: firstname.lastname@example.org +45 30785171
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