London, England – Global research results released by the HSBC Climate Partnership has revealed that consumers want governments to “stop haggling on carbon concessions” and act on them. The report said that the economic situation has not dampened enthusiasm for government action, with 43 per cent of people chosing climate change ahead of the global economy when asked about their current concerns, despite the turmoil in the financial markets taking place at the time.
Of those surveyed, 77 per cent worldwide want to see their governments cutting carbon by their national “fair share” or more, to allow less-developed economies to grow. As representatives around the world prepare to gather in Poland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, consumers believe governments should focus on more direct action, with twice as many saying that governments should invest in renewable energy than participate in international negotiations on climate change.
“This research demonstrates the need for decisive action on climate change,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, advisor to HSBC on economic development and climate change. “The urgent challenge is to build a framework for a global deal so that consensus can be reached in Copenhagen next year, and the discussions in Poznan are a critical stepping stone to achieving this. Now is the time to lay the foundations of a new form of growth that can transform our economies and societies.”
Even in countries emitting the most carbon dioxide, the majority of people want their country to make a fair contribution. In China, 62 per cent said their country should reduce emissions by at least as much as other countries, while only 4 per cent said their country’s emissions should be allowed to increase. In the U.S., 72 per cent said the country should reduce emissions by at least as much as other countries. In Mexico and Brazil, over 80 per cent wanted to cut emissions by their “fair share” or more, as high a level as in developed markets.
However, the findings come against a global backdrop of consumer reluctance to take more personal responsibility to tackle the problem, with individuals 29 per cent less willing to make further changes to purchasing decisions when compared with 2007, and 19 per cent less willing to make lifestyle changes.