Survey: A small majority of respondents believe that there is still time for climate catastrophe to be avoided
According to a survey of 16 countries, only a small percentage of people think there’s still time to make a change and slow global warming.
Over 55-year-olds believe that their actions can have a positive impact on the environment. Mintel’s survey found that people in Brazil, Spain and Canada are most optimistic about the possibility of saving the planet if they act now.
Averagely, 54% agreed there was enough time to save the earth, while 51% thought their actions could make a difference.
Japan was the most pessimistic country: Only 15% believed that their actions could make a difference, and 35% believed that there was still time to save the world.
The survey was conducted in 16 countries: Brazil (India, China), Japan, the UK and the US.
The study found that consumers want companies to disclose the environmental impacts of their products to help them make informed decisions about whether or not to purchase them.
According to the survey, 47% wanted labels showing the environmental impact of production. 42% needed information explaining the impact of travel distance or litres of water consumed.
The survey found that 41% of respondents wanted a recognisable certification that would prove their standards. For example, B Corp status is awarded to companies who sign up for a legal declaration that considers the effects of their decisions on workers, customers and the community.
A survey revealed that people had different opinions about who is responsible for global warming. According to the research, consumers were more likely than others to believe that their country is causing climate change.
On average, 44% of 16 nation’s consumers said their country was experiencing climate change. 33% of them believed their country was contributing to it.
The least likely people to believe that their country contributed to climate change were those in Italy (20%) and Brazil (21%), South Korea (24%), Spain (29%), and South Korea (24%). The least likely were those in the UK (44%), Germany (55%), the US (46%), and Canada (51%), who believed their country was guilty.
In its roadmap towards net-zero, the International Energy Agency stressed the importance of people understanding that their consumption plays a key role in reducing carbon emissions. The agency stated that more than half the reductions in cumulative emissions required to reach net-zero were due to consumer choices and behaviour.
Mintel Consulting’s senior trends consultant Richard Cope said that “The good news” is that a relatively small number of people believe there is still time for redemption. This optimism is closely linked to the belief that consumer behaviour can make a difference.
The survey revealed that while there was evidence of awareness among the purchasing public about climate responsibility and the effect of individual choices on the environment, many people in 16 countries wanted solutions to make life easier but would be more dangerous for the planet.
The study also showed that people are installing air conditioning more frequently as the temperature rises around the globe, increasing carbon emissions.
Mintel’s report states that “global warming creates a vicious cycle by increasing the demand for air conditioners, which then consumes more energy.”