WIN International, the world’s leading association for market research and surveys, has published the annual WIN Global Survey (WWS – 2021) that collects the opinions and beliefs of 33,236 people among citizens of 39 countries around the world. The survey analyzes views and opinions related to the perception of climate change in 2021 and the importance of sustainable development worldwide.

Global Warming and Natural Disasters

Global warming is an imminent phenomenon worldwide, considered as a threat to humanity by 86% of respondents (results remain similar to the ones obtained in 2020). In the American and African continents, the perception is higher (89% and 87%, respectively). Vietnam, Indonesia (both with 96%), Paraguay and Peru (with 94% each) are the countries reporting the highest number of citizens that consider global warming as a serious threat for mankind.

As a consequence of global warming, 8 out of 10 respondents believe that natural disasters (forest fires, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, etc.) have increased. Perception in America and APAC (84% and 81%, respectively) is even stronger and, among countries, the Vietnamese, Mexicans and Peruvians top the ranking of those who think that climate change and natural disasters go hand in hand.

Time Left to Fight Climate Change

Compared to last year’s survey, the hope that climate change can still be stopped shows a slight drop (from 54% to 52%), but the perception remains positive, considering more than half of the population think there is still time to fight it. Women are the most optimistic (52%), and the same happens with America and Europe (57% and 55%, respectively) where people think it isn´t already too late to curtail climate change. However, population of APAC (49%) and MENA (48%) differ from this perception and are more negative about it. Within countries, perception also varies: the most optimistic countries are Brazil (70%), Mexico (67%), Denmark (66%), Indonesia and Paraguay (64%, each), while the pessimists are China (38%), Pakistan (34%) and India (31%).

Personal Actions and Individuals’ Responsibility

On a global leve, 80% of the world population think that their actions can help to improve the environment (slightly lower than last year, but the outlook remains encouraging). This attitude is held, in a large percentage, by Americans (86%) and Africans (81%). Countries like Paraguay (95%), Colombia (92%), Peru, Indonesia and Brazil (each with 91%) are more optimistic about the positive impact of their actions, while Japan (62%), Palestinian Territories, China, Germany and Poland (with 68% each) consider it to a lesser extent.

Governments and Companies’ Responsibility

Efforts in sustainability and the environment can come from different sides, but a vast majority, 70% of respondents, think that governments and companies must try harder than individuals. This perception grew slightly (+3) compared to 2020 (67%). Although men (71%) and women (69%) agree on this, men tend to demand more action from authorities than women. Countries like South Korea (83%), Thailand and Lebanon (82%, each) believe, in a higher percentage, that governments and companies should act towards protecting the environments, more than individuals.

To take care of the environment, it is necessary to have on board all actors in society (people, government, private institutions, etc.). However, more than half of the respondents (51%) feel that the government is not taking the necessary actions to protect it. This may be due to the distrust public institutions are experimenting or to the lack of projects related to environment protection. Europeans and Americans are the most critical (65% and 62%, respectively) thinking that their governments are not taking the necessary actions. Croatia (83%), Greece (74%), Finland (73%), Serbia and Paraguay (72% each) are the most critical countries with the government. On the other hand, Vietnam (4%), Indonesia (8%) and the Philippines (12%) perceive the opposite.

Willing to Pay More for Eco-Friendly Products

Currently, several companies are taking action and making their products environmentally friendly. People (7 out of 10) are willing to recognize these efforts by paying more for eco-friendly products, as a way of contributing, and helping the environment. Women are willing to pay more for these products more so than men (70%). Respondents from Africa and America (both with 72%) would pay more for products that respect the environment. Citizens from Vietnam (95%), Paraguay (90%), India (88%), Indonesia (80%) and Peru (79%) show higher support to these initiatives.

Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

The WIN Worldwide Survey highlights the increasing concern about climate change and an urgent call to action. People around the world believe that their actions can contribute but governments should take action as well. There is a strong perception that what is being done is not enough, but it is not too late: although perceptions vary from country to country, more than half of the population believes there is still time and a large majority is willing to contribute with personal actions and consumer choices

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