Children wearing face masks walk in heavy smog in Harbin, China on Nov. 3, 2015.
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November 6, 2015 10:26 AM EST

Most people surveyed across the world are concerned about climate change, while the U.S. and China are less worried than people in many other countries, a new survey found.

The majorities in all 40 countries polled by the Pew Research Center said they are aware of the “significant challenge” climate change poses, with a median of 54% of people characterizing it as a “very serious” problem. That concern is less intense in the U.S. and China, the two countries that emit the most greenhouse gasses, where 45% and 18% of people respectively said climate change was “very serious.”

Pew, which surveyed between 900 and more than 3,500 people in each of the 40 countries, released the results just a few weeks before political leaders meet in Paris for a United Nations conference to reach a climate agreement. A world median of 78% support their countries limiting greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the Paris talks, Pew found.

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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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