The cold winter has not affected the Norwegian population’s belief in climate change being man-made. However, The TNS Gallup Climate Barometer shows that the climate issue has lost some of its urgency.
See webcast with presentation and debate of main findings from the IPY Science Conference at Lillestrøm 11 June
Download main results in PDF
Download press kit in English
70% of Norwegians agree that climate change is man-made. This is only a 4-percentage point decline from last year.
– The results show a broad public accept for human in climate change. Even an unusually cold Norwegian winter, scandals surrounding the IPCC, and the failure at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen have not been able to significantly alter this belief, says Daniel Rees, Project Manager for the TNS Gallup Climate Barometer.
Other issues are more important
However, the survey shows that climate change now is considered to be less pressing compared to other issues. Last autumn, climate change was among the three most important issues for SV, Ap, V, KrF and SP-voters [centre and left of centre parties]. This spring, only SV-voters [socialist party] consider it to be among the top three. Expanding roads and railroads is now the most important issue for the public in general.
– We see that what the public considers to be the most important issues is related to what is featured in the media at the time. The relative decline in importance for climate change is probably related to fewer and more critical articles over the last six months, says Rees.
Climate change does not inflict on everyday life
Politicians often talk about climate change being one of the greatest challenges in our time. The Climate Barometer highlights two important reasons as to why the Norwegian population currently do not share this belief.
Firstly, most Norwegians do not believe that climate change will affect Norway as much as the world in general. 50 % of the population think that the effects in Norway will be both positive and negative. Climate change is not considered to be a great threat to this country.
Secondly, the government have implemented few climate measures that most people notice, both with regards to restricting behaviour and rewarding climate-friendly actions. People expect more: 6 out of 10 think that the Norwegian politicians do far too little to reduce the domestic greenhouse gas emissions, and only 32 % think that Norway is a leading country internationally on climate issues.
– When politicians talk about the urgency of the climate issue without people noticing any changes in their everyday lives, it is no surprise that many reach the conclusion that other issues are more urgent than climate change, says Rees.