Majority of People Believe Climate Change Agreement Vital to U.N. Negotiations in Denmark

LONDON, Nov. 2 (UPI) — A majority of people say it is vital to reach agreement at the U.N. climate change negotiations in Denmark, a global financial institution survey indicated.

The HSBC’s 2009 Climate Confidence Monitor, released Monday, showed 65 percent said they believed it was very important to reach a deal during negotiations in December in Copenhagen on a successor document to the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gas emission. Seventy-nine percent of people surveyed said they favored emission reduction targets as well.

Nearly seven in 10 people — 69 percent — said they thought addressing climate change was as least as important, if not more important, than supporting their country’s national economy during the downturn, the survey found.

HSBC, based in London, said Climate Confidence Monitor results showed a desire for stronger action in emerging economies than in developed ones. The four Climate Confidence Monitor questions measure people’s concern, confidence, commitment and optimism about climate change.

The report also indicated that the number of people ranking climate change as their top issue fell 8 percent across the board, except in Hong Kong, where concern increased by 9 percent.

“We know that the impacts of climate change will particularly affect the emerging markets and clearly the people of those countries involved, said Stephen Green, HSBC Holdings group chairman. “We look to the Copenhagen meeting to create a framework for a low-carbon economy that will allow emerging markets to prosper and create attractive investment opportunities for businesses worldwide.”

The HSBC Climate Partnership is a five-year program running from 2007-2012 with the HSBC, the Climate Group, Earthwatch, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF.

The survey polled 12,000 people globally. No time frame or margin of error were provided.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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