Indians think combating global warming is good economics

A significant proportion of the adult population in India appears convinced that steps taken to combat climate change and global warming will actually be good economics with such steps improving growth prospects for the future.

In debates revolving around the contentious issue, a section has been suggesting that adoption of new technologies to reduce carbon emissions will lead to lower rates of economic growth and a possible loss of livelihoods in traditional sectors, particularly in poor countries.

Indians don’t seem to agree with this argument. This was revealed by a nationwide survey conducted by CVoter on behalf of the Yale Program of Climate Change Communication.

The survey was conducted between October 2021 and January 2022 and covered a scientifically designed random sample size of 4,619 adult Indians who were above 18 years of age.

Speaking on the subject, Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University, said: “Almost 62 per cent think that overall, taking action to reduce global warming will either improve economic growth and provide new jobs (45 per cent) or have no effect on economic growth or jobs (17 per cent). Only 19 per cent think it will reduce economic growth and cost jobs.”

Dr. Jagadish Thaker of the University of Auckland, said: “More than twice as many people in India think taking action to reduce global warming will improve economic growth and provide new jobs (45 per cent) than think it will reduce economic growth and cost jobs (19 per cent). Additionally, about one in five (17 per cent) think taking action on global warming will have no effect on economic growth or jobs.”

Yashwant Deshmukh of the CVoter Foundation, observed: “A minority of was of the opinion that concrete steps to combat global warming will lead to reduced growth and a loss of livelihoods and jobs. There appears to be increasing clarity among Indians on this issue as revealed by other responses. While 59 per cent of Indians support the increasing use of renewable energy, merely 13 per cent are of the opinion that fossil fuel usage and consumption should be increased.”

Most people in India (55 per cent) say the country should reduce its emissions immediately without waiting for other countries to act (+19 since 2011), while 64 per cent say the Centre should be doing more to address global warming.

Confirming the trends that all global economic worries start with local sentiments, almost 74 per cent say it would take their household several months or more to recover from a severe drought, and 63 per cent say it would take several months or more to recover from a severe flood. This includes many who say it would take them several years to recover from a severe drought (28 per cent) or a severe flood (26 per cent).

More than half of people in India say their income does not cover their needs and they either have “some difficulties” (26 per cent) or “great difficulties” (27 per cent) as a result.

About three in four people in India (74 per cent) either “strongly agree” (54 per cent) or “somewhat agree” (20 per cent) that they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.

By contrast, only 14 per cent either “strongly disagree” (10 per cent) or “somewhat disagree” (4 per cent) that they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.

The total percentage of people in India who either “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that they have personally experienced global warming is 24 percentage points higher than in 2011, and the percentage who “strongly agree” is three times higher (+36 percentage points).

By contrast, the total percentage who “strongly” or “somewhat” disagree is 17 percentage points lower than in 2011.

About half of people in India think Indians are already being harmed by global warming (49 per cent), a much higher percentage than in 2011 (+29 percentage points).

Fewer think people in India will be harmed within 10 years (18 per cent), 25 years (10 per cent), 50 years (4 per cent), or 100 years (1 per cent), and only 2 per cent think global warming will never harm people in India, while 17 per cent say they don’t know or did not provide a response.

20221020-111005

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