What the People Want Is Climate Leadership
Now that the world's leading greenhouse-gas emitters are committed to achieving carbon-neutrality by mid-century or soon thereafter, it is time for policymakers to translate words into action. Though the task is enormous, new survey findings show that the public is on their side.
LUXEMBOURG – For many populists, the jury is still out on climate science, and global warming is a myth, a fabrication, or a hoax. But most citizens recognize that the scientific findings are sound, and that the threat of climate change is real. And as the European Investment Bank’s new Climate Survey shows, people are demanding climate action.
In Europe, 75% of citizens say that climate change is already having an impact on their everyday lives. In China, the figure is 94%; and even in the United States, 72% of respondents report feeling the effects of climate change.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still taking a massive toll in human lives and livelihoods. The survey finds that while climate change was the highest priority for Europeans in 2019, it has since slipped behind COVID-19 and the unemployment and financial crises the pandemic has caused.