Survey shows 77% Indians recognise earth close to tipping points

NASA scientists have discovered a gigantic cavity -- almost 300 metres tall -- growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, indicating how fast global sea levels will rise in response to climate change. (Photo Credit: NASA/IANS)

New Delhi: Seventy-seven per cent of the Indians recognise the earth is close to tipping points in terms of global warming and they are worried about the state of nature today, a survey of theG20 nations said on Tuesday.

Following an alarming IPCC climate report that outlines an alarming future, IPSOS Mori and the Global Commons Alliance released a set of new and extremely detailed research on public attitudes towards tipping points, planetary stewardship and necessary economic and societal transformations.

The results provide some of the most granular insights to date on these critical issues from the G20 countries.

Across the world's largest economies, 73 per cent of people believe the earth is approaching potentially abrupt or irreversible tipping points because of human action.

The survey also found that the majority of people (58 per cent) living in G20 countries are very concerned or extremely concerned about the state of the global commons, and 83 per cent of people are willing to do more to become better "planetary stewards" and protect and regenerate the global commons.

People in developing economies showed greater willingness to do more to protect nature and climate than those in advanced economies: Indonesia (95 per cent), South Africa (94 per cent), China (93 per cent), Mexico (93 per cent), Brazil (91 per cent), compared with Japan (61 per cent), Germany (70 per cent), and the US (74 per cent).

"The world is not sleepwalking towards catastrophe. People know we are taking colossal risks, they want to do more and they want their governments to do more," said Owen Gaffney, the lead author of the report 'The Global Commons Survey: Attitudes to planetary stewardship and transformation among G20 countries', and director of communications for the Global Commons Alliance.

Elizabeth Wathuti, an environmentalist and climate activist from Kenya, founder of Green Generation Initiative and head of campaigns at Wangari Maathai Foundation, wrote the foreword for the report.

She said: "The vast majority of people in the world's wealthiest countries feel the same way I do. They are worried about the state of the planet and want to protect it. They want to become planetary stewards. This should be a wake-up call to leaders everywhere."

The survey highlighted significant discontent with the dominant economic systems across G20 countries. Among G20 countries, 74 per cent of people support the idea that their country moves beyond a singular focus on profit and economic growth and focus more on human wellbeing and ecological protection and regeneration.

This view is consistently high among all G20 countries. It is particularly high in Indonesia (86 per cent), Turkey (85 per cent) and Russia (84 per cent), but even the lowest scoring countries score highly: the US (68 per cent), the UK (68 per cent) and Canada (69 per cent).

"The findings should provide G20 leaders with the confidence to move faster to implement more ambitious policies to protect and regenerate our global commons," said Gaffney.

The survey revealed that people are less aware of the scientific consensus that sweeping systemic transformations needed in the next decade to protect the global commons and meet climate targets set out in the UN's Paris Agreement.

While 59 per cent of people in G20 countries know scientists acknowledge a very rapid energy transition is needed in the next decade, just right per cent of people think this is about a need for broader economic changes in the next decade, including dietary change, price of goods and services to include environmental costs and moving to circular economies.

However, 28 per cent of people are aware that scientists think significant change is needed.


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