Climate Change Seen as Top Global Concern, Survey Finds

Climate Change Seen as Top Global Concern, Survey Finds

Climate change is the most widely cited global concern among more than forty-five thousand survey respondents in forty countries, a report from the finds.

According to the report, (18 pages, PDF), 46 percent of respondents across all the countries surveyed said they were "very concerned" about climate change, followed by global economic stability (42 percent) and the Islamic militant group ISIS (41 percent). Climate change was the most widely cited threat in nineteen of the forty nations surveyed, with concern especially widespread in regions that are particularly vulnerable to its effects — Latin America (61 percent), sub-Saharan Africa (59 percent), and parts of Asia, including India (73 percent) and the Philippines (72 percent).

In the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, however, more respondents were "very concerned" about ISIS and other threats than about climate change. The survey found that 68 percent of U.S. respondents were concerned about ISIS, followed by Iran's nuclear program (62 percent), cyberattacks on governments, banks, or corporations (59 percent), global economic stability (51 percent), and tensions between Russia and its neighbors (43 percent). While 62 percent of Democrats said they were "very concerned" about climate change, just 20 percent of Republicans said the same.

Although concerns about climate change and ISIS took the top spots in an overwhelming majority of the countries surveyed, the report notes that global economic instability was the top concern in five countries, including Russia, and the second most widely cited concern in twenty countries. In Latin America,  54 percent of respondents expressed serious concerns about the global economy, while it was one of the top two most widely cited concerns in every African country surveyed.

"Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat." Pew Research Center Report 07/14/2015.