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Poll: Climate Measures Worth The Cost

A World Bank survey indicates those in rich and poor nations agree -- policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are necessary, even if they cost more.

Poll: Climate Measures Worth The Cost
Poll: Climate Measures Worth The Cost

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  • Interview with World Bank's Andrea Liverani

Paul Westpheling

A World Bank survey has found serious public concern about climate change. And surprisingly, a majority said they would pay more for fuel, transportation and other necessities in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

A majority in each country said they wanted their governments to change policies that would reduce emissions, even if no concensus is reached at the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (starting Monday, 7 December).

The survey asked more than 13,400 people in 15 countries - most of them in the developing world -- if they supported changes in environmental policies that would result in tackling climate change - even if it meant higher costs. 

Among the poll's key findings:

•    Public concern about climate change is high
     worldwide, but generally higher in developing
     countries.

•    People in developing countries believe climate change is already
     producing negative effects.

•    Majorities in 12 of the 15 countries said they supported a gradual
     change in fuel efficiency standards for automobiles even if it
     increases costs.

•    Majorites in all countries found support for preserving or expanding
     forest land, even if it means less land for construction or agriculture.

•    There is widespread support for helping poorer countries deal with
      climate change issues.

"We were not expecting these results," said Andrea Liverani a social development specialist for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., which commissioned the poll. "Behavior and attitude change is the key to successfully fighting climate change," she said.

The survey was conducted in China, India, Vietnam, Japan, Iran, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, Vietnam, France, Egypt and the United States.

More survey results can be found at: www.worldbank.org/wdr2010/climatepoll

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