People believe that climate change is more important than the current financial crisis, according to the organisers of an international opinion poll.
However, the poll revealed that fewer people in industrialised countries are willing to alter their lifestyles.
The poll in 11 countries, commissioned by HSBC Climate Partnership, composed of both business and environmental groups, has produced what they term a “global mandate” for action on climate change.
The survey revealed that 43 per cent of people questioned put climate change ahead of the world’s financial instability as an issue of current concern, even though the surveys ran during the months of September and October this year.
“Despite the fact this research took place at a time when the global financial crisis was taking off, climate change was very much in the minds of the general public as an issue of concern,” said Francis Sullivan, HSBC’s environmental advisor.
The number of people who said they would alter their lifestyles to reduce climate change had fallen between the results of last year’s survey and this year’s.
Most people in most of the developing countries polled including Brazil, India, Malaysia and Mexico said they were willing to make changes but in China and other industrialised countries such as the UK and US, the number was just under half.