In India, 82% Of The Population Is Alarmed Or Concerned About Global Warming

By Outlook Planet Desk May 04, 2023

Divided into four distinct categories, the study looks at the attitudes of the Indian populace as a whole towards climate change 

In India, 82% Of The Population Is Alarmed Or Concerned About Global Warming
Those falling in the Alarmed, Concerned and Cautious categories are cognisant of extreme climate events.

According to a recent survey from the Yale Programme on Climate Change Communication and CVoter International, large majorities of the Indian population are alarmed or concerned about global warming. The Alarmed, the Concerned, the Cautious, and the Disengaged are the four distinct audiences within the Indian public that each react differently to the problem of climate change, according to the research "Global Warming's Four Indias, 2022".  

The majority of Indians (54%) are Alarmed, the demographic most convinced of the dangers and actuality of global warming. The Concerned (29%) share the Alarmed's conviction that global warming is real and poses a severe hazard, but they are less informed about it and see it as an immediate danger. The Alarmed are most driven to take personal action and are most supportive of political and national action to combat global warming. Cautious (11%) and Disengaged (7%) are the two smaller groups.

Climate Change in the Indian Mind, 2022, the first study based on this survey, looked at the attitudes of the Indian populace as a whole towards climate change. This second paper does an audience segmentation analysis based on people's attitudes, risk perceptions, and behaviours to identify and describe distinctions among segments of the Indian public.

Though they are less certain of its causes and less likely to see it as a serious threat that will directly affect them, the Cautious believe that global warming is occurring. In contrast to the Alarmed and Concerned, they are in favour of energy and climate policy but less so of governmental action and less driven to take personal action. The Disengaged have limited knowledge of global warming, rarely or never have an opinion on it, and frequently give blank stares in answer to inquiries about it.

The report reveals that the Alarmed are the most supportive of India’s transition to renewable energy – most say India should use more renewable energy (68%), including 52% who say India should use “much more” renewable energy. “Most of the Concerned (58%) also say India should use more renewable energy, but the Cautious (45%) and Disengaged (7%) are less likely to say so. Similarly, the Alarmed (64%) are the most likely to say India should use less fossil fuels (e.g., oil, coal, gas), followed by 51% of the Concerned, 37% of the Cautious, and 9% of the Disengaged.”

“One of the first rules of effective communication is to ‘know your audience’,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, project co-lead at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. “This analysis should help governments, journalists, companies, and advocates better understand and engage their key audiences on the issue of climate change and its solutions.” 

The Four Indias perceive different levels of risk from global warming. As an illustration, 93% of those who are alarmed and 59% of those who are concerned, but just 24% of those who are cautious and just 1% of those who are disengaged, believe that global warming would hurt them and their family either "a great deal" or "a moderate amount." The group that is most likely to claim ignorance or lack of opinion is the Disengaged. 

The report states that most people in India have noticed changes in local weather. Majorities in all four segments say the average amount of rainfall in their local area has changed (increased or decreased) over the past 10 years (Alarmed, 78%; Concerned, 76%; Cautious, 70%; Disengaged, 65%). Additionally, majorities of the Alarmed (73%), Concerned (68%), and Cautious (62%), and many of the Disengaged (41%) have noticed changes in monsoon predictability (becoming more or less predictable) compared to the past.

“Majorities in all four segments have noticed changes in local weather patterns, including rainfall,” said Dr. Jagadish Thaker, project co-lead at the University of Queensland. “The report also illustrates how social and economic inequalities increase climate vulnerability among diverse Indian populations.”

A national representative poll of 4,619 Indian individuals (18+) was undertaken for the study. The study was created to look into the public's perceptions of regional weather patterns, climate awareness, beliefs, policy support, and behaviour, as well as their vulnerability to extreme weather occurrences.