Two in three Indians don’t know about climate change

Two in three Indians don’t know about climate change

New Delhi: Indians, by their own admission, are largely unaware of climate change, says a survey released on Tuesday by polling agency Gallup Inc.

Even as the country emerged as a key player in global warming talks, less than one-third of Indian respondents in the survey said they knew anything about the issue—well below levels of awareness shown by people in other emerging climate negotiators such as China, Brazil and South Africa.

The survey, conducted before last month’s climate summit in Copenhagen, showed just 32% Indians were aware of climate change, compared with 75% Brazilians, 59% Chinese and 41% South Africans. In contrast, a high 94% Americans said they were aware of the issue.

The survey, carried out between May and November last year, covered 10,245 respondents, including 3,010 Indians.

It also showed aware citizens everywhere want both developed and developing nations to move together on reducing carbon emissions, which are caused by the burning of fossil fuels and blamed for global warming and climate change. Burning of fossil fuels produces heat-trapping greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming.

Around 44% of Indians and Chinese respondents, 55% Brazilian respondents, and 75% American respondents said countries such as the US, Germany, Japan, China, India and Brazil should reduce emissions at the same time.

This contrasts the positions taken by their governments in climate change talks. Negotiators from developed countries want emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil to share the bulk of the burden, but envoys of these developing nations blame the industrialized world for global warming.