Belfast Telegraph

Poll shows scepticism over man-made climate change

Around half of the public believe there is no proof that global warming is caused by humans, according to a new poll.

The ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph revealed that 46% of those quizzed did not believe mankind was largely responsible for the global temperature rise.

The opinions of this relatively large group are wildly at odds with the main conclusions of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Some 39% of those questioned for the poll said climate change was not proven to be man made.

And around 7% of pollsters believed climate change was not taking place at all.

Less than a quarter (23%) said climate change was the most serious problem man faced whereas 58% described climbing global temperatures as one of a number of serious problems.

And less than a fifth (17%) of those asked, said global warming was not a very serious problem.

But a separate international poll for BBC World Service revealed that global public concern about climate change was at a high level.

Nearly two thirds of those polled said climate change was a "very serious" problem but concern has fallen in China and the USA.

Only 6% of the 24,000 people polled want their government to oppose a climate deal being reached in Denmark.

The poll also shows that, in spite of the global recession, an average of 61% support their governments making investments to address climate change, even if these investments hurt the economy.

But the poll found public opinion in the world's two largest emitters of carbon dioxide was less clear.

The Chinese are the most likely to support government investments to address climate change even if these harm the economy with 89% in favour, only 52% of Americans feel the same way.

Also, the percentage of American (45%) and Chinese citizens (57%) who see climate change as "very serious" is below the 23-country average of 64%.

The overall results revealed there was strong support for governments taking an ambitious approach to the Copenhagen negotiations.

On average, 44% and majorities in 10 of the 23 countries polled, said they wanted their government to "play a leading role in setting ambitious targets to address climate change" at Copenhagen.

A further 39% thought their government should "adopt a more moderate approach and support only gradual action".

Only 6% want their government to oppose any agreement.

Majorities in major European nations support their government playing a strong leadership role in Copenhagen - 62% in the UK, 57% in France, and 55% in Germany.

Other governments being pressed to show leadership include Canada at 61%, Australia at 57%, Japan at 57%, and Brazil at 53%.

In comparison, Chinese opinion about Copenhagen favours a "moderate approach" involving "only gradual action" over a "leadership approach".

In the United States, 36% are in favour of a "moderate approach" and 14% oppose any agreement, outweighing the 46% of Americans who want their government to show leadership.

The results are drawn from a survey of 24,071 adults in 23 countries, conducted by the international polling firm GlobeScan between 19 June and 13 October, 2009.

GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller said: "The poll shows strong worldwide support for action on climate change, in spite of the recession.

"However, the mixed opinions in the United States and China suggest leadership in Copenhagen may need to come from others."

Belfast Telegraph

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