People in 8 European countries were asked. The results of two recent studies have been merged to give an insight into the extent to which scientists' findings and people's opinions overlap.
The Game On project, which surveyed 2,500 people in 8 European countries in November 2021, found that ⅔ of people believe climate change is a global problem and that scientists' opinions are the most credible source.
The UN recently released its latest report, which set off alarm bells concerning climate change. The IPCC report draws attention to the consequences of inaction, with findings that climate change poses a serious and growing threat to our well-being and to the planet. Residents of 8 countries were asked about their views in the Game On project. 31% of respondents think that the impact of climate change is already being felt and 40% believe it will affect their lives in the near future. The IPCC report reveals that nearly half of the world's population is already struggling with climate impacts, with climate change affecting the world much faster than scientists previously expected.
Experts say that action is the key and point out that societies will not adapt well to a warming world if they are not receptive in tackling the problem. "This is why initiatives such as the Game On project are so important, where we are trying to raise people's awareness of the facts about climate change and biodiversity through activities that really promote understanding. One of the aims of the 8-country survey was to find out people's views and to be able to respond to that", said András Sztaniszláv, Communications Manager of the Game On project.
70% of respondents identified scientists as the most credible source on climate change. However, the channel of communication is important, with 58% of respondents citing television and 43.5% citing online news portals as the source of information.
The socio-demographic characteristics of the research showed that 71% of women believe that global warming is a real problem. Only 60% of men today think climate change is dangerous. It was also found that women (81%) are more likely to think they are responsible for their actions than men (72%).
Women consistently have higher risk perceptions about global climate change affecting them negatively and harming people, flora, fauna, and future generations around the world. Researchers think this difference can also be used for good purposes. Improving the education of women and girls represents one of the top solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming. Women in leadership positions can also effectively foster climate policy solutions.
The majority of respondents agreed that schools, or education, are one of the most important areas to raise awareness of climate change. "We will share these research results with university students so that they can use them for their dissertations. In addition, we also stifle sharing data with high school teachers to be able to talk to kids about climate change in class. We hope that school lessons will be much more exciting and efficient with the new solutions", added András Sztaniszláv.
Game On | Don’t let climate change end the game! – project
Project sponsor: European Commission’s Development Education and Awareness Raising Programme, (DEAR)