In a recent survey conducted by Gallup, 57% of Chinese adults say that the environment should take priority over the economy. This comes as a surprise given that the Chinese economy has recently suffered a downturn since its economic boom.
As we have recently seen the UN release a report stating that the environment is at breaking point, the results of the survey come at a pivotal point in history.
As talks start at the Rio+20 summit, fear amongst many that other global issues such as Syria and the global financial crises could out shadow the environment.
The summit will be focusing on such issues as over population and the dwindling resources associated with supporting more than 7 billion people.
Fifty-seven percent of Chinese adults surveyed in 2011 — before the country’s economic slowdown grabbed headlines — prioritized protecting the environment, even at the risk of curbing economic growth. About one in five believed economic growth is more important. Chinese attitudes are typical of those in other emerging-market economies, where residents sided with the environment over the economy in earlier surveys.
Similarly, Americans historically prioritized environment protection over economic growth from 1985 to 2008. However, economic growth has taken priority since the economic recession deepened in 2009. If China’s economic troubles worsen, residents’ attitudes could change too.
Among the 22% of Chinese who did not choose the environment or the economy, about half of them (12%) answered they don’t know. Those who did not have an opinion tended to be poor rural residents with no education beyond elementary school, perhaps indicating their lack of awareness about environmental issues. The 9% who answered neither tended to be wealthy urban residents with high education. For them, it might be a dilemma of choosing one over the other because both the economy and the environment are extremely important.
Source: Gallup World
Hopefully, as public opinions start to change, we will see a lot more protests and action in which the people will start to demand change in order to save our earth.
Governments worldwide need to start placing environmental issues over economic pressures.
“As the world marked the 40th World Environment Day (WED) last Tuesday, a call has gone out again for an urgent need for a paradigm shift from carbon-rich economic development to one of low carbon emission, in order to improve man’s well-being and social equity.
Themed: Green Economy: Does It include you? experts, at various fora to commemorate the day, were of the opinion that human economic activities can be carried out in a safe, healthy and environment-friendly way if efforts were made to involve nature as means of generating wealth for mankind.” Source: Tribune