Why It Matters | Most Indians want quick climate action from government

At least 55% of people have said that India should reduce its emissions immediately without waiting for other countries to act

May 05, 2023 08:13 pm | Updated 08:14 pm IST

About 81% of people in India are worried about global warming while 64% of Indians think that the government should do more to address global warming.

About 81% of people in India are worried about global warming while 64% of Indians think that the government should do more to address global warming. | Photo Credit: AP

What are the facts: About 81% of people in India are worried about global warming while 64% of Indians think that the government should do more to address global warming, a recent survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and CVoter has shown. 

A large majority of people (83%) want a national programme that educates the population about global warming. The same percentage of people want a national programme that trains people for new jobs in the renewable energy industry. 

Also Read | Humidity can complicate heat stress burden for Global South

At least 84% of people in India think that global warming is happening while 74% say they have experienced its effects. 

According to the survey, 57% of people think that the Earth is heating up mostly due to human activities. A bulk of the respondents also think that climate change will harm plant and animal species (80%), people in India (77%), future generations of people (77%), people in their own community (72%), and themselves and their own family (69%). 

The survey also mentions that 76% of people have noticed changes in the average amount of rainfall in the last 10 years while 56% of people have said that hot days have become more frequent in their areas. 

Additionally, only 35% of the respondents say they heard about climate change in the media at least once a week. 

Data | Kolkata records hottest April, east and north-east sizzle 

What is the context?

  • The international polling agency conducted a nationally representative survey of 4,619 adults from October 2021 to January 2022. 
  • The aim of the survey titled Climate Change in Indian Mind 2022 was to measure public awareness on climate change and related beliefs, attitudes, behaviour and support towards policy.
  • The report is the latest edition of the survey which was held about a decade ago in December 2011. 

Explained | Why is the EU’s carbon border tax worrying other countries including India?  

Why does it matter?

  • By comparing the data with the 2011 survey, the authors of the report have tried to show the change in awareness levels, perceptions and beliefs that Indians have had in the last decade. 
  • For instance, there has been a 15 percentage point jump in Indians being aware of climate change. 
  • Likewise, recording an increase of 29 percentage points, 49% of people think that they are already suffering because of climate change. 
  • The survey highlighted another trend where Indian citizens want more government intervention to tackle climate change. At least 55% of people have said that India should reduce its emissions immediately without waiting for other countries to act.

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