Climate agenda is urgent for 85% of Brazilians


Compared with the United Kingdom, Sweden and China, Brazil has the highest proportion of people who say they already feel the effects of climate change and advocate urgent action. The data is part of the study “Public Perceptions of climate change and policy action in the UK, China, Sweden and Brazil”, presented this Monday (1) at COP26 by the Center for Climate Change & Social Transformation (CAST).

According to the data collected, 75% of people in Brazil are concerned about climate change. In addition, 82% recognize that, in order to overcome climate change, it is necessary to change the way society operates.

The countries analyzed in the study show differences in relation to these actions. While 36% of the UK population accepts to reduce the amount of air travel to face the problem, Brazil had the lowest rate of people willing to do the same, with only 8%. On the other hand, the country had the highest proportion of people who advocate alternative means of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport.

“We are seeing slow changes, especially in the UK, but this is still not something that is recognizable as more effective strategies to be followed”, said researcher Katharine Steenjes, responsible for the study, during a panel that dealt with the role of people in the development of climate action.

People as change agents

The organization Hot or Cool Institute presented on the same panel a study that demonstrates the role of people in the climate agenda, given the impact of their lifestyles. One of the conclusions was that in demonstrating that the maintenance of the increase in the global average temperature around 1.5ºC in relation to pre-industrial levels, as proposed in the Paris Agreement, depends on drastic changes in the lifestyle of the world population.

Entitled 1.5 – Degree Lifestyles: Towards A Fair Consumption Space for All, the work assesses that meeting the goal depends on reducing annual emissions per inhabitant from 4.6 tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), recorded in 2010, to 0.3 tCO2e in 2050. For this, by 2030, emissions must be 45% lower.

The main conclusions of the study were presented at COP26, this Monday (1st), by the managing director of the Hot or Cool Institute, Lewis Akenji. Based on data from Canada, Finland, the UK, Japan, China, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, India and Indonesia, the report analyzes high-impact consumer sectors.

In Canada, which tops the list of per capita emissions, the transport sector has the largest share of the total at 14.2 tCO2e. In Brazil, out of a total volume of 3.2 tCO2e, the food sector is the main focus of emissions. According to Akenji, the profile of emissions is an indicator of inequality between countries. In India, the transport sector represents more than half of per capita emissions due to the use of motorcycles. In rich countries, the main focus is the aviation sector.

“We are talking about countries like Indonesia, India and Brazil, which have hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. In the UK, for example, aviation represents 29% of transport demand and a 44% footprint. That’s the disparity.”

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