Europeans View Climate Change as Second-Biggest Threat, Poll Finds

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Europeans believe climate change is an even greater threat than the current economic crisis, and second worldwide only to poverty, a new poll says.

According to the Eurobarometer poll, which was conducted in June, 89 percent of respondents said climate change is a “serious” problem, while 68 percent consider it a “very serious” problem, up from 64 percent in 2009. Twenty percent said it is the most important problem facing the planet.

Nearly eight in 10 said addressing climate issues could provide an economic boost and create jobs, with more than two-thirds (68 percent) supporting tax-supported initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The poll was commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action.

While numerous U.S. polls have shown declining public concern about climate change over the last three years, a poll released by Reuters/Ipsos in September found that the percentage of Americans who believe the climate is warming had increased from 75 percent to 83 percent during the previous year, a shift that followed one of the warmest summers in U.S. history.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.