Ground Report | New Delhi: 73% of world’s population; The “points of no return” are a threat that once seemed like science fiction but is becoming more and more palpable. Many scientists are concerned that human activity that causes global warming is also affecting natural systems more profoundly, causing feedback loops in nature, such as irreversible melting of ice sheets or permafrost, that would cause changes. abrupt in all the meteorology of the Earth.
Above all, because this climate point of no return could be close to being activated, because humanity’s enormous carbon emissions show no signs of slowing down, despite having gone through a pandemic that paralyzed much of the activity.
73% of world’s population
Far from staying in academic circles, this scientific concern seems to have permeated all of society. About 73% of the planet’s population now believe that the Earth’s climate is approaching a point of no return due to human activity, according to a global opinion poll by the non-profit Global Commons Alliance and Ipsos MORI and published on Tuesday. A result that demonstrates the great global consensus around the danger of climate change, since the survey was carried out with the help of thousands of people from G20 countries, in which high-, middle- and low-income nations are represented.
“The world does not sleepwalk towards catastrophe. People know that we are taking colossal risks, they want to do more and they want their governments to do more, “explains the report’s lead author, Owen Gaffney, who further believes that” the findings should give G20 leaders the confidence to move. faster to implement more ambitious policies to protect and regenerate our global commons ”.
This strong global consciousness is neither recent nor due to recent events. The survey was actually conducted between April and May before summer brought unprecedented heatwaves, floods, and fires to the Northern Hemisphere, and also before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned on “inevitable and irreversible” climate change due to human activities.
A few key findings stand out:
- 73% of people in G20 countries believe that human action is potentially causing the Earth to reach a sudden or irreversible tipping point.
- 58% are extremely or very concerned about the state of the global commons.
- 83% are willing to do more to become a better “planetary steward” and to protect and regenerate the global commons. People in developing economies showed a greater willingness to do more to protect nature and climate than did advanced economies: Indonesia (95%), South Africa (94%), China (93%), Japan (61%), Germany ( 70 %), and the United States (74%).
- 73% agree that their country’s economy should move from a focus on profit and economic growth (GDP) to a greater focus on human welfare and ecological conservation and regeneration.
- 69% of people believe that the benefits of action to protect the global commons outweigh the costs.
- 59% acknowledged that a very rapid energy transition is needed over the next decade.
- But only 8% acknowledge the need for macroeconomic changes over the next decade.
- 71% agree that the recovery from the pandemic is a unique moment in making society more resilient to future shocks.
Although among the G20 nations an average of 73% of people believe that human activity has brought the Earth close to a point of no return, concern about this risk is notably greater in less wealthy countries such as Indonesia (86% ), Turkey (85%), Brazil (83%), Mexico (78%) and South Africa (76%), than in richer countries such as the United States (60%), Japan (63%), Great Britain (65 %) and Australia (66%). (73% of world’s population)
Aware developing world
“People in power seem to feel that it is okay to cut down old trees or destroy natural ecosystems to build buildings or roads or extract oil, as long as they plant new trees later. But this approach is not working, and the findings of this report show that many people in the developing world no longer support such economic idiocy, ”writes Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti in the foreword to the report.
In any case, the gap is not only territorial but generational. The report identifies in this sense a group of “emerging planetary administrators” who are the most aware of the risks and were prepared to work for change: they are mostly young people (under 45 years old), women, well-educated, urban, and likely to identify themselves as citizens of the world. “These are the people pushing for change. They are the warriors who fight the most for our future ”, says the survey. In contrast, awareness and willingness to act tended to be lower among men, older people, people in rural areas, nationalists, and people in wealthy nations.
In addition, two-thirds of people (66%) support global cooperation to address shared challenges, although this percentage does fluctuate quite a bit from country to country, with China (81%) being the most enthusiastic and France (50%) the least. willing to collaborate. In this sense, when asked whether the United Nations and other international organizations should have more power to protect nature, there was an equally broad agreement with countries such as India (76%), China (75%), and Turkey (76%) more willing and the United States (49%) somewhat less.