Public attitudes toward climate change: findings from a multi-country poll


The World Bank‘s World Development Report 2010 on Climate Change and Development commissioned an international poll of public attitudes to climate change. The poll is the first to specifically target developing countries and ask a comprehensive set of questions regarding climate policy. The poll aims to a) provide the public in developing countries with an avenue to make their voices heard in a debate often dominated by developed countries‘ views, and b) provide decision makers with a tool to assess the state of public views on climate change in their countries. Various World Bank departments contributed to the design of the poll.1 The polling was conducted among 15,518 respondents in 16 nations— Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam. The surveys were carried out by, a collaborative project involving research centers from around the world, managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. The margins of error for each country range from +/-3 to 4 percentage points. The surveys were conducted across the different nations between September and December 2009. The results were released ahead of the COP-15 in Copenhagen, and were covered extensively by different media outfits worldwide (see annex). They also provided the material to a series of blog posts ( The poll addresses the following dimensions: a) level of concern, b) beliefs about climate change, c) attitudes toward international cooperation on climate change,; and d) willingness to bear economic costs to support national actions.