Conservation, Renewables Top UN Survey of Climate Change Actions

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Conserving forests and investing in renewable power are the most popular ways to combat climate change, according to a United Nations-backed global survey.

Both options were supported by slightly more than half of 1.2 million respondents in more than 50 countries. The poll was conducted by the United Nations Development Programme by asking questions in the middle of mobile games including Angry Birds, and data was processed at the University of Oxford. The UN estimates the sample represents about 56% of the world’s population.

Almost two-thirds of respondents said that they considered climate change a global emergency. That rose to about 74% in small island developing states. The survey was the largest public poll on climate change yet, the UN said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, local experiences tended to play a key role in policy support. In countries with rampant deforestation and land-use change, such as Brazil, Indonesia and Argentina, strong majorities favored land conservation efforts. Nine of the 10 most urbanized countries had majority support for increased use of clean transportation.

The least popular policies were promoting plant-based diets and public backing for affordable insurance, with slightly less than a third of respondents supporting these. The survey only asked people whether they supported policies, and didn’t include information about relative costs.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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