Wednesday 23 October 2019
 
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SPECIAL REPORT

A new 28-country YouGov survey uncovers attitudes to climate
change across the world.

Perceptions of climate change in the Middle East

DUBAI, September 17, 2019

For a region like the Middle East, with several low-lying major cities susceptible to rising sea levels, recognizing and acting on the implications of climate change may be critical to the region’s future, said market research firm YouGov in a new report.

When asked to describe their views about the global environment, half of UAE respondents (52 per cent) said they believe the climate is changing and human activity is mainly responsible. Similarly, two in five (42 per cent) of Egyptians stated the same, followed by only one-third (35 per cent) in Saudi Arabia. In contrast, Western countries such as Spain and Italy show a substantially larger proportion (69 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively) claiming that climate change is due to human activity.

A further 7 per cent of Egyptian and Saudi Arabian residents allege that climate is changing but human activity is not responsible at all, while 6 per cent of UAE respondents have the same opinion. Of the markets covered in the study, these figures are only the same or higher in the United States (10 per cent), Norway (8 per cent), and Sweden (6 per cent).

 YouGov’s global study also asked how much of an impact, if any, respondents believe climate change would have on their lives. The majority of respondents in the Middle East indicated that climate would have a great deal of impact on their lives, including more than half of respondents in Egypt (58 per cent) and the UAE (56 per cent).

Conversely, respondents in Western countries are much less likely to believe the previous statement with only one in six respondents in Germany and Great Britain (16 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively) believing that climate change will have a great deal of impact on their lives.

Respondents were also asked to indicate who they think is responsible for the current situation with climate change. The study shows a general divide between regions.

Asia and Pacific countries generally hold international bodies accountable for the current situation, while the Middle East respondents see National governments of wealthy nations as responsible. On the other hand, more respondents in the US and Europe believe that businesses and industry are to blame for the current climate change situation.

“When it comes to taking action on climate change, we see a larger gap between whether respondents think they personally or their country could be doing more to tackle climate change,” YouGov said in the report.

Almost 90 per cent of Spaniards believe their country could be doing more to mitigate climate change, while almost 70 per cent believe they personally could be more proactive on the matter. In contrast, only around half of those in the UAE (47 per cent) believe their country could take more action on climate change.

This could be tied to the UAE’s very well-known Vision 2021, in which the UAE government has set a roadmap for climate change mitigation, including 14 projects that are set to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions, among other initiatives.

YouGov’s global climate change survey studies many more data points in climate change perception across the 28 different countries included in the study and highlights notable differences between attitudes around the world. – TradeArabia News Service




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