Türkiye, Spain, Italy: Where in Europe are people most concerned about climate change?

Looking ahead, the number of people expecting climate change to have a severe impact on their area over the next 10 years stands at a global average of 71 per cent.
Looking ahead, the number of people expecting climate change to have a severe impact on their area over the next 10 years stands at a global average of 71 per cent. Copyright Li-An Lim
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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In one European country, 68 per cent of citizens believe they will be displaced by climate change.

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Seven out of 10 people anticipate climate change will have a ‘severe effect’ in their area within the next 10 years, according to a new study.

Ipsos, a multinational market research firm, has released an assessment of how people feel about climate change right now and the actions governments are taking to address it.

The survey comes ahead of the COP28 Climate Change Conference, which will see 167 world leaders come together in Dubai later this week.

Here’s what people in Europe say about the climate effects they are already feeling and how they see the future of their countries.

Which European countries are already feeling the effects of climate change?

The Ipsos study questioned over 24,000 adults in 31 countries about their views on climate change. European countries included Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Türkiye.

It found that almost six out of 10 people around the world report a severe effect of climate change in the area where they live - although this varies greatly by country.

In Europe, Türkiye came in top of the list with 79 per cent of respondents saying climate change is already having serious consequences. Two-thirds of people living in Italy and Spain also said the effects were severe.

Just two countries - Great Britain and Sweden - have less than two-fifths of people reporting severe effects (34 per cent and 24 per cent respectively).

What effect will climate change have over the next decade?

Looking ahead, the number of people expecting climate change to have a severe impact on their area over the next 10 years stands at a global average of 71 per cent.

In addition, around two-fifths expect that they will be displaced from their home within the next 25 years, with the highest levels of concern in Türkiye (68 per cent) and Brazil (61 per cent).

“As the world’s leaders gather at COP, this latest Ipsos research reveals a stark reality - with the majority of people not only witnessing the severe impacts of climate change but bracing for its escalation,” says Lauren Demar, Ipsos Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of ESG.

The least concerned countries are all European - in Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, those expecting they will have to move stands at one in four or lower.

European governments aren’t providing enough information on climate change

When it comes to government communication about climate change, European countries rank poorly.

When asked how well the government was informing people about the potential impacts of climate change, 29 per cent of Hungarians responded ‘not at all’ while 45 per cent said ‘not well’.

In Spain, Poland, Türkiye and Italy, over 70 per cent of people think their government isn’t doing enough to communicate about climate change.

Are European countries doing enough to tackle climate change?

Only 36 per cent of citizens globally believe that their government is working hard to tackle climate change.

In Europe, the lowest-ranking country is Belgium, where only 22 per cent of people see government actions as adequate, followed by Türkiye, France and Poland with 23 per cent.

The Netherlands was the highest-ranking country, where 44 per cent of people think the government is working hard to tackle climate change.

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