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2. Global Warming Risk Perceptions

2.1 Most people in India are worried about global warming.

A large majority of respondents (81%) say they are either “very worried” (50%) or “somewhat worried” (31%) about global warming. By contrast, a total of only 12% say they are either “not very worried” (5%) or “not at all worried” (7%) about it, and 7% either say they don’t know or did not provide a response.

The percentage of people in India who say they are either “very” or “somewhat” worried about global warming is 21 percentage points higher than in 2011, and among those, the percentage who say they are “very worried” is 30 percentage points higher than in 2011.2.2 Large majorities of people in India say global warming will cause harm.

Large majorities of people in India say global warming will cause either a “great deal” or a “moderate amount” of harm to people and other species. That includes plant and animal species (80%), people in India (77%), future generations of people (77%), people in their own community (72%), and themselves and their own family (69%).

The percentage of people in India who say global warming will cause harm to each of these groups is higher than in 2011: plant and animal species (+15 percentage points), people in India (+13), future generations of people (+11), people in their own community (+12), and themselves and their own family (+13).

2.3 About half of people in India think Indians are already being harmed by global warming.

About half of people in India think Indians are already being harmed by global warming (49%) – a much higher percentage than in 2011 (+29 percentage points). Fewer think people in India will be harmed within 10 years (18%), 25 years (10%), 50 years (4%), or 100 years (1%), and only 2% think global warming will never harm people in India, while 17% say they don’t know or did not provide a response.2.4 People in India think global warming will have dangerous impacts.

Many people in India think global warming will have a variety of dangerous impacts. Half or more think global warming will cause “many more” disease epidemics (59%), extinctions of plant and animal species (54%), severe heat waves (54%), severe cyclones (52%), and droughts and water shortages (50%). More than four in ten respondents think global warming will cause many more famines and food shortages (49%) and severe floods (44%).

The percentage of people in India who think global warming will have dangerous impacts is higher than in 2011: disease epidemics (+14 percentage points), extinctions of plant and animal species (+6), severe heat waves (+9), severe cyclones (+20), droughts and water shortages (+5), famines and food shortages (+2), and severe floods (+10).

2.5 A large majority of people in India say global warming is personally important to them.

More than eight in 10 people in India (84%) say global warming is either “extremely important” (39%), “very important” (29%), or “somewhat important” (16%) to them personally. Very few say it is either “not very important” (2%) or “not at all important” (3%), while 11% say they don’t know or did not provide a response.

The total percentage of people in India who say global warming is either “extremely,” “very,” or “somewhat” important to them is 21 percentage points higher than in 2011, while the proportion who say it is either “not very” or “not at all” important is 20 percentage points lower.