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Jan 25, 2010, 03.17 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Govt, business seen too slow to save climate: Poll

About two thirds of people believe their government and business leaders are not taking the rights steps or at the right pace to prevent global climate change, according to a joint Reuters/Ipsos international poll.

Govt, business seen too slow to save climate: Poll
About two thirds of people believe their government and business leaders are not taking the rights steps or at the right pace to prevent global climate change, according to a joint Reuters/Ipsos international poll.

The survey of about 24,000 people in 23 countries, conducted in the lead up to, during and following the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December last year, found 65% of respondents were not happy with the progress and actions to date to conserve the environment.

Only 35% said their government and business leaders were doing the right thing — and only three countries would get passing grades on their environmental credentials from their citizens.

These were China which received 86% support from its people, India with 60% support, and Turkey with 54%.

"It's clear that global citizens are underwhelmed by the leadership shown by their own government and business leaders in tackling what they perceive to be a serious threat to the world and themselves," said John Wright, senior vice president of public affairs from market research company Ipsos.

"The outcome of the recent climate conference in Copenhagen simply goes to reinforce any existing view that much of the backbone and courage that's needed on this issue is missing in action."

More than 20 countries, including China and the United States, agreed to a non-binding Copenhagen Accord at the chaotic 190-nation UN climate summit without any commitment to numbers and with the absence of the EU.

Officials acknowledge privately that the mandatory system for enforcing emissions curbs created by the 1997 Kyoto protocol is doomed because China, the world's biggest emitter of man-made greenhouse gases, won't accept any constraints on its future economic growth and the United States won't join any agreement that is not binding on Beijing.

The United States, the world's second-largest emitter, has not formed a national plan to cut emissions as climate legislation has stalled in the Senate. Major developing countries want Washington to act first before agreeing to binding action.

The following results table from the Reuters/Ipsos poll begins with the countries where citizens are least likely to agree "that their government and business leaders are taking the right steps and pace to prevent global climate change":

Agree Disagree

Argentina 16% 84%

Mexico 17% 83%

France 19% 81%

Belgium 20% 80%

Hungary 23% 77%

Germany 24% 76%

Poland 24% 76%

Italy 26% 74%

Czech Republic 26% 74%

Netherlands 26% 74%

Sweden 29% 71%

Britain 33% 67%

Canada 34% 66%

Russia 35% 65%

Spain 35% 65%

United States 38% 62%

Brazil 43% 57%

South Korea 43% 57%

Japan 45% 55%

Australia 48% 52%

Turkey 54% 46%

India 60% 40%

China 86% 14%

About 1,000 individuals participated on a country by country basis via an Ipsos (http://www.ipsos.com) online panel with weighting employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflected that of the adult population according to the most recent country census data.

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