School of Social and Political Science

New study on climate crisis perceptions

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Our colleague Dr Jan Eichhorn has been leading a project that examines public understandings and perceptions of the climate crisis in nine countries.


The project team, funded by the Open Society European Policy Institute and coordinated by the Berlin-based think tank d|part, has published the first report on the findings, which is now available online.

The report charts attitudes on the existence, causes, and impact of climate change in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also examines public attitudes to a series of policies that the EU and national governments could harness to reduce the damage inflicted by human-made emissions.

Although a clear majority of European and United States respondents are aware that the climate is warming, and that it is likely to have negative impacts for humankind, the report finds there is confusion about the scientific consensus on climate change. This, the report argues, has created a gap between public awareness and climate science, leaving the public underestimating the urgency of the crisis, and failing to appreciate the scale of the action required.

The report, as well as a video of the launch event hosted by Carnegie Europe, can be accessed here.