Survey: Urgent need for action to protect the planet

Survey: Urgent need for action to protect the planet
Survey: Urgent need for action to protect the planet

Something must be done about the crisis on Earth – and there is not much time left. Many people in the world’s largest economies agree on this.

More than two-thirds of people in 18 of the world’s largest economies (71 percent) see an immediate need for action to protect the planet, according to a survey.

There are big differences from country to country: In Mexico, 91 percent of respondents said that measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions were needed immediately, within a decade – in Saudi Arabia only 52 percent, according to the think tank Club of Rome.

The proportion of those who see an immediate need for action was also high in Kenya (86 percent), South Africa (83 percent) and Brazil (81 percent), and comparatively low in Japan (53 percent), the USA (62 percent) and Italy (62 percent). In Germany, the figure was 66 percent.

Well-being instead of economic growth

62 percent of all respondents also believe that a country’s economic success should be measured by the health and well-being of its citizens and not by how fast the economy is growing. According to the results, only 37 percent currently trust their government to make long-term decisions that will benefit the majority of people in 20 or 30 years. In Germany, the figure is only 26 percent.

The survey conducted by the market research company Ipsos on behalf of the Earth4All initiative and the Global Commons Alliance in G20 countries also shows that 68 percent of respondents support a wealth tax for the rich, and 69 percent are in favor of higher tax rates for large companies. In Germany, 68 percent are in favor of a wealth tax, and in less wealthy countries such as Indonesia (86 percent) and Turkey (78 percent) the number is significantly higher. Fewer people – but still the majority – support such a tax in Saudi Arabia and Argentina (54 percent each).

Debate about special tax

The results were published ahead of the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Brazil in July, where the proposal for a special tax on the super-rich will also be discussed. “This survey proves once again that the majority of citizens in the G20 countries believe that it is time for an economy that delivers more prosperity, more climate protection and less inequality,” said Sandrine Dixson-Declève, executive chair of Earth4All.

The Earth4All initiative is led by the Club of Rome, the Norwegian Business School and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Its goal is to develop transformative political and economic solutions for the 21st century that can achieve sustainable development within planetary boundaries. The initiative builds on the report “The Limits to Growth” published by the Club of Rome in 1972. The Global Commons Alliance is a network of international organizations committed to protecting the global commons.

Ipsos surveyed a total of 22,000 people aged between 18 and 55 to 75 in 18 of the G20 countries in March and April 2024, representative of age, gender, region and employment status. The overall percentage results are an arithmetic mean of the national results of the 18 countries surveyed (or 17 countries in the case of questions that were not asked in China).

Source: Stern

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