Indians are most concerned about air pollution (62 per cent) followed by water pollution and concerns over water shortages (61 per cent). However, globally the concern for climate change has come down this year.

Concern for climate change in the country has increased in the past few months with 54 per cent of Indians being “very concerned” about global warming, a survey released on Monday said.

Indians are open to taking energy efficient measures but believe that the main responsibility for finding solutions to climate change lies with the government and it should take measures restricting carbon dioxide emissions by companies.

However, globally the concern for climate change has come down this year.

The Nielsen and Oxford University Environment and Climate Change Barometer research shows that concern and awareness for climate change and the environment peaked in 2007 at the time of the Live Earth concerts and the launch of former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore’s acclaimed documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

“As many as 28 per cent Indian respondents feel that there should be major government-led initiatives for research into scientific and technological solutions like low-emissions cars, houses and renewable energy,” the survey found.

Nearly three in 10 Indians said that there should be a change to more energy efficient light bulbs, fixtures and electrical appliances to combat climate change while a quarter of Indians believe in recycling consumer waste and saving electricity.

“They believe that the government should invest in improving public transport systems and that there should be government incentives like tax breaks or subsidies to individuals for good, less or non-polluting behaviour,” it said.

“The global recession and economic woes temporarily knocked the climate change issue off the top line agenda, but as the recession is now beginning to recede, we expect the Copenhagen Summit may push this important issue to the forefront again,” said Jonathan Banks, business insights director of Nielsen.

The nations most concerned about climate change are the Philippines (78 per cent), Indonesia (66 per cent), and Thailand and Mexico (62 per cent).

Indians are most concerned about air pollution (62 per cent) followed by water pollution and concerns over water shortages (61 per cent). For 54 per cent, global warming is third on the list of concerns for them.

Globally also air and water pollution followed by climate change are the top three environmental concerns for people.

“It’s not surprising that water and air pollution top consumers’ environmental concerns as these are measurable and visible to the population compared with the concept of climate change, which unfortunately many people only take seriously when human lives are endangered through freak weather patterns,” he said.

The survey done in October this year is an annual exercise that measures consumer attitudes towards the environment and climate change, trust of information sources and climate change solutions among 27,548 online consumers in 54 countries.