Humans ‘Pushing Earth Close To Tipping Point’, Say Most In G20
By Staff, Agencies
Three-quarters of people in the world’s wealthiest nations believe humanity is pushing the planet towards a dangerous tipping point and support a shift of priorities away from economic profit, according to a global survey.
The Ipsos Mori survey for the Global Commons Alliance [GCA] also found a majority [58%] were very concerned or extremely concerned about the state of the planet.
Four in five respondents said they were willing to step up and do more to regenerate the global commons.
The lead author of the report, Owen Gaffney of the GCA, said the results showed strong global support for urgent, decisive action on the climate and nature crises.
“The world is not sleepwalking towards catastrophe. People know we are taking colossal risks, they want to do more and they want their governments to do more,” he said.
“The findings should provide G20 leaders with the confidence to move faster to implement more ambitious policies to protect and regenerate our global commons.”
This snapshot of global public opinion was taken in April and May before the northern hemisphere summer of record-breaking heatwaves, floods and fires, and months before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned of “inevitable and irreversible” climate change owing to human activities.
Among G20 nations, 73% of people believed human activity had pushed the Earth close to tipping points. Awareness of these risks was markedly higher in the less wealthy countries – Indonesia [86%], Turkey [85%], Brazil [83%], Mexico [78%] and South Africa [76%] – than the richest countries – United States [60%], Japan [63%], Great Britain [65%] and Australia [66%].
Overall, more than half [59%] of respondents believed nature was already too damaged to continue meeting human needs in the long term.
People are beginning to feel that “nature is hitting back,” wrote the Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti in a foreword to the report.
“People in power seem to feel it is OK to fell old trees or destroy natural ecosystems for buildings or roads, or to dig up oil, so long as they then plant new trees. But this approach is not working, and the findings in this report show that many people no longer support such economic idiocy.”