Indians most optimistic about avoiding climate crisis, global study shows

#climate, #Epson, #India, #UN

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Indians are the world’s most optimistic people about averting a climate crisis within their lifetimes, according to a global survey weeks before the UN conference on the issue.

The Epson Global Survey on Climate Reality showed that 73.4 percent Indians are “very” or “somewhat” optimistic, while globally, 46 percent of the respondents showed such optimism.

India has the highest “climate reality deficit” in the world, a significant gap between perceptions of climate change and the severity of the situation, the report says.

The study involved 15,264 consumers across Asia, Europe, North America and South America, including 1,207 consumers in India.

These findings come ahead of the upcoming 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in November. The study aims to raise awareness of climate change impacts and influence business and policy decisions.

According to the report, optimism in India is driven by the opportunity to use science and technology to solve problems (31.9 percent), lack of awareness of climate change dangers (26.4 percent) and the ability to move away from fossil fuels to renewable sources (21.4 percent).

In India only 11.4 percent claim to be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ pessimistic as against 27 percent of respondents worldwide. Additionally, 4.1% of the respondents do not believe that there is a climate emergency at all; the US tops the list here of climate deniers at 11 percent.

Pessimism was driven by a belief that people are not aware of climate change dangers (32.6 percent), a lack of government action (30.4 percent) and 17.4 percent believing not switching to renewable energy.

“Results show a worrying climate reality deficit between participants’ perception of, the scale and immediacy of the climate emergency on one hand and the actions to tackle the same on the other,” the report said.

About 26 percent of Indian respondents believe the government should act to tackle climate issues, while 27 percent say businesses are responsible. On the other hand, 21 percent say they are personally “most responsible”; 21.5 percent believe all are responsible.

Globally, only 14 percent of the respondents feel big businesses are “most responsible”. The findings also suggest that now is the time for companies of all sizes to play a bigger role.

Yasunori Ogawa, Global President of Epson, said the “reality deficit” showed that awareness and action were critical to tackle climate issues.

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