Public support for helping poor countries soars when informed of the consequences

The more the public knows about the impact of climate change on developing countries, the more likely they are to finance measures to support them, say the ippr

The more the public knows about the impact of climate change on developing countries, the more likely they are to finance measures to support them, an ippr survey out today has found.

Though only 16 per cent of the 3,032 people surveyed by YouGov in 157 marginal constituencies strongly or very strongly support the idea of a global climate fund, which the Prime Minister has pledged £1.5 billion towards, more than half of all those polled were more supportive when presented with the facts.

When told:

• “Forests soak up a lot of the pollution we emit. Unless we help poorer countries protect them, they will be lost forever”, 63 per cent were more supportive;

• “Climate change could cause major food shortages and drive up food prices in the UK, unless we help countries that produce a lot of food adapt to climate change”, 52 per cent were more supportive; and when informed that

• “Last year, 11 million people in East Africa – many of them children – suffered from drought, which will become much more common as climate change gets worse, unless we help”, 47 per cent were more supportive

Worringly, however, between ten and 16 per cent of respondents said they would actually be less supportive when informed of the life-threatening consequences of climate change.

Conservative voters who opposed action to help the poor outnumbered those who suppported it by 23 per cent – highlighting once more the gap between David Cameron’s rhetoric and the denial and scepticism of his supporters – while among Labour and Liberal Democrat voters net support stands at around 30 per cent.

On Sunday Left Foot forward published a poll which found that securing a deal at Copenhagen is key to winning public support for climate change measures, with the number of people willing to accept higher motoring and flying costs up from 26 per cent to 39 per cent, with the number opposed down from 64 per cent to 46 per cent.

5 Responses to “Public support for helping poor countries soars when informed of the consequences”

  1. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik – I think if the public could see a direct link between what they pay or are taxed and help to save the rain forest the percentage would increase even more.

    If for every £pound the government takes goes into a fund to buy huge areas of the rain forest and have it protected by local people no problem.

    The problem arises when people see hypocritical ministers jetting all over the world and then lecturing us about helping “Save the Planet” and all their other childish remarks.

    (300 million government air miles in 2007 for example – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jetsetting-government-clocked-up-300-million-air-miles-last-year-800206.html )

    And I’m not alone:

    Tony Bosworth, senior transport campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “Tackling aviation growth is essential to cutting climate change emissions. The Government should be setting an example and not use planes where there are good rail alternatives available.”

    We all know what’s going to happen at this hugely polluting waste of time, taxes and money in Copenhagen. It’s going to go to the wire and our “brave” ministers are going to save the day – YAWN.

    And what will happen is nothing. There is as much chance of this working as there is of stopping Polly Toynbee preaching about climate change while she flies to her villa in Italy every week.

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  3. Billy Blofeld

    “securing a deal at Copenhagen is key to winning public support”

    There will be a deal. It will be a flee ridden pile of rubbish – but that won’t stop Gordon telling us that a “historic deal has been done which secures the future for all our children, for rich and poor” etc. etc. etc. etc….

    Aides will, of course, leak something to try and tell us that Gordon personally saved the conference and brokered the deal.

    Then we’ll have to put up with Gordon and Ministers on TV for days trying to lever words and phrases into sentences like “children”, “future”, “historic” and “developing world” into everything they say.

    I’ll give extra points if anyone from the government manages to link in “Christmas” with their schmaltz…… i.e.

    “The world has come together to sign a historic deal which secures the future of our children, whether they are rich or poor. We have acted, the Western World is working in partnership with the Developing Countries. This Christmas the world has come together, for hope, for peace and for the future.”

    My money is on Ed Balls hitting the full Christmas payload…….

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