Nature Climate Change , Vol.14, pp. 253–259, 2024

Globally Representative Evidence on the Actual and Perceived Support for Climate Action

Mitigating climate change necessitates global cooperation, yet global data on individuals’ willingness to act remain scarce. In this study, we conducted a representative survey across 125 countries, interviewing nearly 130,000 individuals. Our findings reveal widespread support for climate action. Notably, 69% of the global population expresses a willingness to contribute 1% of their personal income, 86% endorse pro-climate social norms and 89% demand intensified political action. Countries facing heightened vulnerability to climate change show a particularly high willingness to contribute. Despite these encouraging statistics, we document that the world is in a state of pluralistic ignorance, wherein individuals around the globe systematically underestimate the willingness of their fellow citizens to act. This perception gap, combined with individuals showing conditionally cooperative behaviour, poses challenges to further climate action. Therefore, raising awareness about the broad global support for climate action becomes critically important in promoting a unified response to climate change.