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Here's Where People Are Most Concerned About Climate Change

Jul 14, 2015

People in much of Latin America and Africa see climate change as the number-one global threat, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. About 60% of survey respondents in both regions say they are very concerned about the issue.

The survey, conducted in 40 countries across the globe, shows that the majority of the populations in 19 countries believe that climate change is the top global threat. More than 70% of respondents in Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Peru, Brazil, the Philippines and India say they are more concerned about climate change than economic instability, ISIS and Iran's nuclear program, among other issues.

The survey comes months before a United Nations conference on climate change in Paris that many environmental activists hope will result in a binding agreement for countries to reduce carbon emissions. Many top polluters, including the United States and China, have made substantial commitments to cut carbon emissions ahead of the conference, even as people in those countries remain apparently unconcerned. In the U.S., 42% of people surveyed say they are very concerned about climate change, lower than all but one other issue. Only 19% of people in China say they are concerned about climate change.

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Concerns about climate change tend to be divided on ideological lines in both Europe and the U.S., the results show. More than 60% of Democrats say they're concerned about the issue, while only 20% of Republicans agree. In the United Kingdom, 49% of people on the left say they are concerned about the issue, compared to 30% on the right.

Many of the countries where people are most concerned have experienced the negative effects of climate change. In Brazil and Peru, where 75% of people say they're concerned about climate change, deforestation has been on the rise in recent years, according to the report. In India, where a heat wave earlier this year killed more than 2,000 people, 73% of people say they're concerned about climate change.

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