Europeans View Climate Change As Second-Biggest Threat, Poll Finds

Europeans believe climate change is an even greater threat than the current economic crisis, and second worldwide only to poverty, a new poll says. According to the Eurobarometer poll, which was conducted in June, 89 percent of respondents said climate change is a “serious” problem, while 68 percent consider it a “very serious” problem, up from 64 percent in 2009. Twenty percent said it is the most important problem facing the planet. Nearly eight in 10 said addressing climate issues could provide an economic boost and create jobs, with more than two-thirds (68 percent) supporting tax-supported initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The poll was commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action. While numerous U.S. polls have shown declining public concern about climate change over the last three years, a poll released by Reuters/Ipsos in September found that the percentage of Americans who believe the climate is warming had increased from 75 percent to 83 percent during the previous year, a shift that followed one of the warmest summers in U.S. history.