Most Chinese, Indians back carbon cuts -survey

Updated: 2007-06-08 09:13

LONDON - Most Chinese and Indian people agree developed countries have the right to demand that emerging countries cut their carbon emissions, according to a survey by market research firm Global Market Insite.

Sixty-two percent of Chinese respondents and 63 percent of Indians said they agreed "it would be appropriate for developed countries to demand restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries, such as China and India." 

Eighteen percent of the 14,188 respondents polled in 14 countries for this year's World Environment Review said US government policy was the biggest threat to the world's climate.

This included 13 percent of US citizens and 23 percent of people from European G8 member countries France, Germany, Italy and Britain.

Only 14 percent of those asked said they thought lack of action by developing countries to reduce their emissions was the biggest threat to the world's climate.

And less than 12 percent of Chinese and Indians surveyed said US policy was the biggest threat to the environment.

Most of the respondents are married, university-educated professionals employed in a variety of sectors and living in cities. Half of the respondents were male.

Although rising rapidly, per capita energy consumption and carbon dioxide production is much lower in China and India than in North America and Europe.

World leaders from the G8 rich countries meeting in Germany on Thursday agreed to work towards "substantial" cuts in greenhouse gases but do not appear to have committed to any specific targets.

The United States has repeatedly rejected mandatory caps on its carbon emissions, as adopted by the European Union, arguing that it would be harmful to economic growth and pointing at rising emissions from developing countries like China and India.

The Chinese government argues that global warming is the result of the pollution spewed out by the developed countries since the industrial revolution for over a century and that it is unfair to expect it to rein in its own industrialisation and economic growth to cut emissions.

The countries polled were Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the United States.

The survey was conducted by email in May by Washington-based Global Market Insite, which provides online market intelligence solutions.

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