A new survey shows that most people around the world believe climate change to be a pressing concern. But Americans and the Chinese, whose countries are the largest emitters of CO2, are among the least worried.
A majority of people in 40 nations polled in the Pew Research Center survey (54 percent) said climate change is a very serious problem. And 85 percent said it’s at least a somewhat serious problem.
Most Americans, meanwhile, don’t see the urgency: 45 percent believe global climate change to be a very serious problem. One in four do not consider it to be a serious problem, one of the highest rates of all the countries surveyed.
The Chinese are even more ambivalent. Just 18 percent said climate change is a very serious problem.
The survey comes amid a backdrop of news and conversation about climate change.
President Barack Obama announced last week he will not approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that to do so would undermine U.S. efforts to curb greenhouse gases.
Secretary of State John Kerry is directing a task force of officials to start including an assessment of risks brought on by climate change in embassies’ strategic planning.
The pope has caught headlines by calling for action on climate change.
And of course later this month, nearly 200 countries will gather in Paris to talk about how to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Check out where all the countries fall in this Pew graphic: