A recent Pew Research poll conducted in 40 countries aimed to discover what each felt was the top threat to their country. While the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe pointed to The Islamic State (ISIS) militants as the utmost threat, the majority of countries surveyed in Latin and South America, Africa, and Asia considered climate change their top concern.
Americans consider climate change a much lower threat than ISIS, with only 42% of Americans saying that they are very concerned about it. The issue in the US is skewed along party lines: about 60% of those who identify with the liberal Democratic party view climate change as a source of concern, while only 20% of those who identify with the conservative Republican party share their concern.
The study reveals international priorities which may threaten the efficacy of the COP21 climate summit taking place in Paris this November. The US, Japan, and Russia, three of the world’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, have expressed that other issues such as ISIS and the economic instability in Europe take precedent over concerns of climate change. China, which produces about a quarter of the World’s emissions, and India, a heavy contributor whose emissions have risen in previous years, may be mismatched with the Western states in their ambition and desire to tackle climate change.
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