How Important Is Climate Change?

ScreenHunter_01 Aug. 05 21.04

Jesse Zwick points to this chart from a new University of Maryland study and writes:

[Seventy-three] percent of respondents worldwide want their government to place a high priority on climate change. It's worth noting that China and India, two countries whose governments have thus far adamantly opposed binding reduction targets for greenhouse gases, had some of the most enthusiastic publics [94% and 59%, respectively] In the United States on the other hand, only 44 percent thought that climate change should be a major priority. The only other two countries in the 19-country study that couldn't muster a majority? Iraq and the Palestinian Territories.

Ryan Avent recently touched upon China and India's reasons for concern. But today, pace Mark Steyn, the Chinese seem to be taking the issue very seriously:

In a briefing at China’s Foreign Ministry, Mr. Yu presented a list of Chinese achievements in limiting carbon emissions, including claims that Beijing is the world’s foremost user of nonpolluting hydropower and solar power, and fourth in wind power. By 2020, he said, 15 percent of China’s energy will come from renewable sources. Mr. Yu also said the nation had made impressive strides in energy efficiency, reducing the amount of energy used per unit of gross domestic product by a tenth since 2005. The government has said it will achieve a total reduction of 20 percent by 2020, a goal Mr. Yu called “a binding target.”

But here's the money quote:

“Not a single country in the world will be able to stay out of trouble,” he said. “Not a single country can say that it can keep safe and intact from global warming. So the only way out is cooperation global cooperation.”

PR or what they really think? We'll see.