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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Environment arrow Global Nielsen Survey: Consumers Look to Governments to Act on Climate Change
Global Nielsen Survey: Consumers Look to Governments to Act on Climate Change PDF Print E-mail
Written by ACNielsen   
04 Jun 2007
  • Survey Shows Surge in Consumer Concern Over Global Warming in Past Six Months...
  • Two in Five Consumers Want Governments to Restrict Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Invest in Environmentally-Friendly Solutions...

 London, UK – June 5, 2007 –Ahead of the G8 Summit on Wednesday this week, where climate change is at the top of the agenda, a survey released today by The Nielsen Company and Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, has revealed that global concerns about climate change have increased dramatically in the last six months (Figure 1) – and consumers in every region of the world consider it the responsibility of governments to address it (Figure 2).  (Please see full PDF download for all figures concerning this release).

“Widespread awareness and concern for climate change has reached new heights in the last six months.  Politicians and governments must listen to a global consumer ‘call for action’ to save the planet,” said Patrick Dodd, President, ACNielsen Europe. 

The survey found two in five (42%) global online consumers believe governments should restrict companies’ emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Two in five online consumers also said governments should invest in research to find environmentally-friendly and energy-saving solutions.  (Figure 2)

“As G8+5 leaders meet at this crucial moment, they should be aware of how alarmed people are about the possibility of a future with an unstable climate, and their consensus that governments must lead the way with tough regulations, research and initiatives,” said Professor Timmons Roberts, James Martin 21st Century School Visiting Professor, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, and Professor of Sociology, College of William and Mary, USA. (Figure 2)

The survey found that consumers globally didn’t think that as individuals, they could make much of a contribution to address climate change.  ‘Reducing air travel’ was considered least likely to have an impact.  Only three percent globally thought it would help – although this number was highest in the UK and Germany, where there has been considerable media focus recently on this issue.  Recent reports have claimed local tourism in Germany is booming as consumers make the eco-friendly choice of holidaying ‘at home’, and a similar trend appears to be taking off in the UK.

“Consumers clearly consider it the responsibility of governments to take action and make the greatest contribution to addressing the problems of climate change,” said Dodd.

The online survey, the largest of its kind to be conducted globally on the topic of climate change was conducted in April 2007 and polled 26,486 internet users across 47 countries in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.   

“We have not witnessed such a dramatic increase in public attention for climate change since the late 1980s. Among a number of influences in the last six months, there have been reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Stern Review, coupled with freak weather patterns like floods in southern Africa to decreased snowfall in the Swiss Alps; and unprecedented global media coverage on climate change which has increased public awareness and concern” said Dr. Max Boykoff, James Martin 21st Century School Research Fellow, Environmental Change Institute. 

According to The Nielsen Company’s twice-yearly global consumer confidence and major concerns survey, global warming now ranks as the fourth major concern for global consumers behind economy, health, and job security. 

“Global warming as a major concern has more than doubled across the world from October 2006 (7%) to April 2007 (16%) with some countries showing three-to-four-fold increases. Even in the US – which registered the lowest percentage of people registering climate change as a major concern six months ago – the percentage concerned has increased from six to thirteen percent,” said Dodd. (Figure 3)

The 47 Markets covered include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark,  Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, US and Vietnam.  Margin of error - +/- 4% for n=500 and +/- 3% for n=1000.

About The Nielsen Company
The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek), trade shows and the newspaper sector (Scarborough Research). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA.. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com.

About Environmental Change Institute
Environmental Change Institute (ECI) plays a leading role in the UK Government's three main climate research initiatives. ECI hosts the internationally-acclaimed UK Climate Impacts Programme; is a core partner in the national Tyndall Centre for Climate Change; and a lead player in the UK Energy Research Centre. It runs a world-class Masters in Environmental Change & Management with students from all over the world. Oxford University has over 150 climate researchers covering all aspects of climate science, including hosting the world's largest climate computer modelling experiment across 150 countries, www.climateprediction.net.

Contacts
Dr Max Boykoff,
James Martin 21st Century School Research Fellow,
Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University.
Office tel. +44 (0) 1865 285 531
Mobile +44 (0) 7804 430 166
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Professor Timmons Roberts,
James Martin 21st Century School Visiting Professor,
Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University,
and Professor of Sociology, College of William and Mary, USA.
Office: +44 (0)1865 285535
Mobile 07726-752-984
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Professor Diana Liverman,
Professor of Environmental Sciences and Director,
Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University
Office +44 (0) 1865 275 847
Mobile 07919 050 265
From 6th/ 10th June: +001 520 325 2010
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Ian Curtis
Communications
Environmental Change Institute,
Office: +44 (0)1865 275849
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