A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center (think tank based in Washington, USA) with interviews of 45,340 people from 40 different countries reveals that climate change is the main concern on a global scale.
The fieldwork for the study was prepared between the months of March and May 2015. Respondents were asked to express their degree of concern about seven problems (climate change, economic instability, ISIS, cyberattacks against governments or companies, tensions between Russia and its neighbors, and territorial disputes between China and neighboring countries).
The researchers then used the percentage of people who said they were very concerned about each of the phenomena to make a comparison between them. In 19 of the 40 countries, climate change ranked first.
The highest data are found in Latin America, where 61% of the inhabitants claim to be very concerned about this phenomenon. In Peru and Brazil, where deforestation is increasing, the percentage reaches 75%, three out of four people.
In 7 of the 9 sub-Saharan African countries, climate change is the issue that most concerns respondents, with a total average of 59%. The highest figures are in Burkina Faso (79%), Uganda (74%), and Ghana (71%).
Asia, another of the most vulnerable regions, is the third area climate change is the main concern. Although the average percentage is 41%, there are large imbalances between countries such as India (73%) and the Philippines (72%) compared to China (19%) or Pakistan (25%).
Spain, at the head of Europe
Although 42% of Europeans claim to be concerned about climate change, in no country does it occupy the first or second position on the list of concerns of citizens. This is due to the even higher percentages that get problems like ISIS or economic instability.
Here, too, the great differences between countries stand out, with Spain (59%) and Poland (14%) being the most extreme cases.
As the study authors emphasize, ideological differences are especially pronounced. In the case of the United Kingdom, for example, 49% of people with leftist ideology claim to be worried, compared to only 30% of those on the right. Although with not so high percentages, something similar happens in Italy, France and Spain.
North America more concerned about ISIS
In Canada and the United States, the number of people who claim to be very concerned about climate change is proportionally the same as in Europe, 42%. But these figures are minimized when compared with those obtained by other matters, since it occupies the penultimate place, surpassing only the territorial disputes of China in Asia.
In the United States, ideology is an even more decisive factor than in Europe. While 62% of Democratic Party voters express their unease, only 20% of Republicans say they feel affected.