To analyze the knowledge and concern of Brazilians’ on climate change and the yearly forest fires in the country, along with the goal of collecting data for organizations that focus their work and research on the climate.
To achieve this, the Institute for Technology and Society - ITS and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication coordinated a nationwide study on the climate change and public perception in Brazil.
The research was conducted by IBOPE Inteligência (IBOPE Intelligence) with 2,600 interviewees of 18 years and over in the 5 regions of Brazil, between the 24th of September and the 16th of October in 2020. The interviews were by phone with an electronic questionnaire, using a C.A.T.I. system (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview).
The electronic questionnaire for collecting the data was translated and adapted from a nationwide climate perception study in the USA conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Questions regarding Brazil were also included in the questionnaire, such as questions on the Amazon fires.
Weighting factors for the study were calculated by IBOPE Intelligence to correct the demographic quotas, based upon data by the National Household Sample Survey (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílio, PNAD) and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE).
The study sample is representative of the Brazilian population with 18 years of age and over and allows independent readings of the results per geographical region in Brazil. The margin of error for the study is 2 percentage points for the results of the whole sample, considering a confidence level of 95%.
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WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OR ECONOMIC GROWTH?
DO THE AMAZON FIRES TARNISH BRAZIL’S IMAGE ABROAD?
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE AMAZON FIRES?
Global warming and climate change
Despite the fact that 78% of the interviewees consider climate change a very important issue and 61% say that they are currently very worried about the environment, only 25% of the respondents say that they have a lot of knowledge on global warming and climate change.
The percentage of respondents most worried about climate change is higher among the young and educated, as well as among women and those who consider themselves more left-wing on the political spectrum.
For 77% of Brazilians, it is more important to protect the environment, even if it causes less economic growth and fewer jobs. The percentage rises to 87% among the interviewees that identify as more left-wing.
92% of Brazilians believe global warming is happening, only 5% believe it is not, and 3% say that they do not know if global warming is happening or not. 77% of Brazilians believe that global warming is caused mostly by human action.
Seven in ten Brazilians (72%) believe that global warming can harm themselves and their family a lot. Also, 88% believe that global warming can harm future generations a lot.
A majority of Brazilians say they have 65% affirmed they have shared information or news on the environment, but only 17% have participated in protests or signed petitions on climate change — a proportion that rises to 33% among more left-wing respondents.
87% of Brazilians say that they have heard a lot about the forest fires that happen yearly in Brazil.
When asked who are the main responsible actors for the Amazon fires, 33% answered loggers, 18% mentioned livestock farmers and animal breeders, and another 18% said farmers.
84% believe that the Amazon fires tarnish Brazil’s image abroad and 78% believe that they can harm commercial ties between Brazil and other countries. Also, 92% say the Amazon fires diminish the quality of life of its local population. 74% disagree that the Amazon fires are necessary for economic growth. For 90% of Brazilians, the Amazon fires are a threat to the global climate and environment.
Around half of Brazilians (54%), believe that the government is responsible for finding a solution to the forest fires in the Amazon, a number that rises to 69% among those who are more left-wing. For 21% of the respondents, citizens are responsible, 15% believe it is business and industry, and 6% attribute responsibility to NGOs.