Global optimism re stopping climate change falls

HSBC press release on survey re climate change includes: [quote]Global optimism that climate change can be stopped is now 30 per cent lower than in 2007[/quote]

Full release, minus the above:

[quote]The results of HSBC's fourth Climate Confidence Monitor, published today, reveal that climate change is one of the top three concerns globally, on a par with economic stability and terrorism. In Hong Kong and Vietnam, climate change is the number one concern.

The emerging economies provide a welcome note of optimism, leading the way in terms of concern, personal commitment and the belief that climate change can be stopped in a survey that reflects a largely gloomy picture of a worried, pessimistic public. Two thirds (64 per cent) of respondents in China claimed to be making a significant effort to help reduce climate change, compared to 23 per cent in the UK, 20 per cent in the USA and 11 per cent in Japan. One in three people in Vietnam, India and China believe climate change can be halted, compared to just one in twenty in France and the UK.

People's opinions surrounding the business opportunities and economic prospects presented by climate change were more encouraging. Over half of respondents in Brazil, India and Malaysia strongly agreed their country would prosper and new jobs would be created by responding to climate change. The UK and the US were slightly less optimistic, but still a third of people thought economic opportunities and new jobs could be created.

This sentiment was accompanied by a strong call for business to invest in addressing climate change, with almost three quarters of people in France (73 per cent) and more than two thirds in Germany (67 per cent) expressing the view that greater business investment is needed in this area. NGOs and individuals were seen as central to the effort, backed up by effective government intervention (such as carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes).

Lord Nicholas Stern, Special Adviser to HSBC's Group Chairman on Economic Development and Climate Change, said: "Strong national and global policies that provide incentives for investment in clean technology, that price fossil fuels in ways that reflect their true economic and social costs, and that assist consumers in using energy more efficiently, have the potential to unleash a significant pool of investment that can serve as a powerful engine for a new era of economic growth."

Stuart Gulliver, Chairman, HSBC Europe, Middle East and Global Businesses [and Group Chief Executive Designate], added: "The climate business sector is growing fast and emerging markets are leading the way. Governments are pushing ahead with decarbonising their economies and businesses are responding by producing more low carbon goods and services. HSBC is working with clients to help them sow and reap the benefits of the low carbon economy."

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1) Further research findings

  • When asked to rank climate change against other issues as a priority for public spending, only healthcare was the outright higher priority. Addressing climate change is as high a priority for public money as tackling crime, supporting the national economy and funding education in most markets
  • Four years of tracking data show that concern about climate change is picking up again after a slight drop
  • Global optimism that climate change can be stopped is now 30 per cent lower than in 2007
  • But the divergence of views is enormous – in Vietnam, 1 in 3 are optimistic whereas in France and the UK the figure is only 1 in 25, and 1 in 20 respectively
  • Only 1 in 5 people globally believe that those who should be addressing climate change are doing what is needed
  • China is the only market where more than half of respondents feel confident that enough is being done
  • Just over a third of individuals claim to be making a personal effort to reduce climate change (this is a slight fall on last year), with the emerging economies making the most effort
  • The developed economies feel most strongly that business should invest more resources in tackling climate change (France: 73 per cent, Germany: 67 per cent, Hong Kong: 65 per cent) Recycling, reducing home heating / air conditioning and other energy saving home improvements are seen as the most important steps people can take to combat climate change.[quote]

    Emerging Markets shine amid climate change gloom

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