Research institute Synovate and Deutsche Welle present the results of a worldwide study on climate change.
People all over the world continue to see climate change as a threat. The majority expect the media to not only inform the public about climate change, but also educate them about its consequences. At the same time, the number of people who aren’t concerned at all has risen in the last two years as well: from 4 percent in 2008 to 9 percent now.
Those are just some of the results of a global study from the market research company Synovate in cooperation with Deutsche Welle. Synovate surveyed more than 13,000 people from 18 different countries about the potential threats, the effects and the possibilities that exist to counteract climate change. The complete results were presented at this year’s Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. This year’s conference, entitled “The Heat is On – Climate Change and the Media”, is taking place from June 21-23 in Bonn.
The “Synovate and Deutsche Welle Global Study on Climate Change 2010” is the third survey that Synovate has completed on this subject. Researchers relied on respondents from around the world – including Germany, France, Brazil, USA, China and South Africa. In Germany, the UK and Turkey, more than 60 percent of respondents are concerned about climate change. In the Netherlands (38 percent), Russia (42) and the USA (54) it is noticeably lower.
When asked about what they consider a “good or excellent source” of climate change information, 50 percent of respondents stated television, followed by websites (48 percent) and newspapers (44). Television was rated especially high in the United Arab Emirates (UAE, 87 percent), China (85) and Japan (78). For websites, China (81), the UK (71) and the UAE (64) were on top and for newspapers it was Japan and China (78), UAE (76) and Brazil (59). In Russia and South Africa, a noticeably lower number of respondents believe that these forms of media were a useful source of information.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents surveyed think social media sites and blogs are a good source for climate change information. “We see the potential to grow with the proliferation of this media especially among the younger generation. It is important that the younger generation understands the impact of climate change issues, since they are the future owners of this planet,” said Steve Garton, Executive Director of Media at Synovate when presenting the results in Bonn.
Erik Bettermann, Deutsche Welle Director General believes that the media has a large responsibility to bear. “The main focus for the media in the future should be objective reporting and breaking down complex topics. At the same time, it is important for journalists to present well-researched stories that foster individuals to take action. The media must create a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions – and shouldn’t automatically buy in to those who offer sensational reports from questionable disasters or those who prematurely state that all is clear.”The “Synovate Climate Change Study 2010” also shows that 88 percent of respondents believe that industry should be responsible for the fight against climate change. More than 70 percent stated that the have done or are willing to do something to reduce climate change. Nearly half of all respondents are willing to buy more environmentally-friendly products.