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UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.


  • The poll also shows there's widespread support for renewable energy, even in countries where fossil fuels are a major source of emissions — with 65% in favor in the U.S., 76% in Australia and 51% in Russia.

Of note: The findings come two days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it "might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency."

The big picture: The "People's Climate Vote" survey of people over the age of 14, organized by the UN Development Program and Oxford University, was conducted via ads distributed in mobile gaming apps from last October to December.

  • Cassie Flynn, UNDP’s strategic adviser on climate change and head of its Climate Promise initiative, came up with the idea to advertise on apps like Angry Birds.
  • Some 550,000 people aged 14 to 18 took part in the survey, which had a margin of error of +/- 2%.

The bottom line: "There is a groundswell of people that are saying even during a pandemic that climate change is an emergency and here’s how we want to solve it," Flynn told Al Jazeera.

  • "Governments are facing extraordinary decisions that will affect generations to come, whether in dealing with COVID-19 or climate. The decisions about our future are being locked in now."

Read the full report, via DocumentCloud:

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