CANCÚN, Mexico--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New U.S. consumer research conducted by EnviroMedia Social Marketing shows generational and political gaps in connecting personal energy use with living conditions in other countries. Results are being released today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancún.
According to the national survey of Americans, 43 percent disagree and 49 percent agree with the statement, “My personal energy use affects the health and living conditions of people in poor, developing countries.”
With Republicans now controlling the U.S. House of Representatives, the midterm elections could affect how much the U.S. is willing to aid in worldwide climate adaptation. The study shows nearly three out of five Republicans (58 percent) disagree with the statement while slightly more than one out of three (37 percent) express responsibility for effects of personal energy use. This contrasts sharply with Democrats’ views, where 28 percent disagree with the statement and almost two out of three (64 percent) acknowledge responsibility.
Scientists have conclusively linked carbon-intensive energy use (like burning fossil fuels and driving cars) with climate change. In 2007, the IPCC said, "warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and connected its cause to human activity. Negotiators in Cancún will be urged to focus on helping developing countries adapt to scenarios like droughts, flooding, disease, food shortages, and population migrations forced by climate change.
“For a global climate treaty to become a reality, we must address which polluters pay to fix the problem,” said Kevin Tuerff, co-founder and president of EnviroMedia. “We won’t get very far funding climate mitigation and adaptation until the average consumer in the biggest polluting countries understands that his or her energy habits at home and work have a global impact.”
On the positive side, the new research shows 60 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds believe their personal energy use affects others globally. Opinion Research Corporation surveyed 1,022 people November 5-8, 2010, by telephone with a +/- 3.2 percent margin of error.
Tuerff and Davis are reporting the latest from COP16 at http://www.GreenDetectives.net.
EnviroMedia formed in 1997 as the nation’s first full-service marketing firm focused solely on creating public education campaigns for environmental and public health clients. Visit EnviroMedia.com and follow on Twitter @enviromedia.