More people than ever feel anxiety and fear over climate change, but action stagnates
The global population is becoming more informed and more anxious about climate change, according to a new global climate action report from IKEA(1*). The study of 31,000 people across 30 countries shows that despite recognising the collective need to do more, individuals feel disempowered and action is stagnating. At the same time, people are motivated to take action by positive visions of a better life for future generations (55%).
Along with knowledge increasing, anxiety and fear are also rising, with three quarters (73%) saying they worry a lot or a fair amount about climate change. Levels of concern jumped five percentage points among 14 countries in just two years (66% in 2017(2*) to 71% in 2019). Three in four parents (77%) say their kids are worried about climate change, with half (50%) saying their children worry a lot or a fair amount.
A clear correlation also emerged between knowledge, concern and the will to take action: the more knowledgeable someone is about climate change, the more worried they feel, and the more likely they are to take action. It also shows that there are three key motivators: presenting a positive vision connecting to helping the planet and future generations (both 55%), and benefits such as saving money (45%) and seeing the impact of their personal actions (47%).
Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group(3*), says: “Together we have a decade to prevent irreversible damage from climate change to the home we all share, the planet. We can see in our research that people expect more from businesses and governments today and as awareness about climate change has increased, the everyday action has stagnated. We will enable and inspire people with thin wallets to live a more sustainable life within the limits of the planet and believe that action speaks louder than words.
“To spark real change, we will hold a positive, proactive and collaborative approach and turn climate challenges into scalable solutions. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And together we will solve this.”
The study shows that while more people are making small everyday changes like recycling (76%), cutting food waste (60%) and avoiding unsustainable products (49%), climate action more broadly has stagnated due to the perceived lack of support and practical advice and anticipated expense of taking action.
Some of the top facts in the reports shows that:
• Concern in 14 tracker countries across the globe has risen five percentage points to 71%, with the state of the planet for future generations a top concern across all 30 countries
• While 61% of people globally say they are knowledgeable about climate change, and 87% are willing to take action, 37% still don’t know how they can help tackle it
• 59% feel they do not get enough support from government, and 51% from business
Key motivators to inspire consumer action are:
• Positive vision – presenting a positive, hopeful vision that connects actions with the potential for a better future for coming generations and the planet itself (both 55%)
• Personal benefits – promoting personal gains including better personal and family health (47%) and saving money (45%), and making life daily easier and more comfortable (29%)
• Enablers – advice, easy solutions, new technology and infrastructure and examples of what others are doing, with seeing the impact of their personal actions the most motivating (47%)
The global study was conducted to understand how people think and feel about climate change, and what they are doing to address it in their daily lives. Get more insights around how people feel about climate change, read the A3 infographic summary.
(1*) This survey was conducted in partnership between Ingka Group and GlobeScan, a global insights and strategy consultancy. This research was conducted online using reputable national consumer research panels to recruit respondents in 30 countries. The total sample size across the 30 countries is 31,428 adults (aged 18+). The 30 countries surveyed are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA.
(2*) All comparisons between 2017 and 2019 figures are made across the 14 tracker countries: Sweden, Canada, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Poland, Russia, Spain, Australia, China, India, Japan.
(3*) Ingka Group is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating IKEA Retail in 30 countries. The group has three areas of business IKEA Retail, Ingka Centres and Ingka Investments.