Climate change, Islamic State most concerning

  • 15/07/2015

Climate change is a big worry in Latin America, Asia and Africa, but the Islamic State group spells more anxiety among Europeans, North Americans and Australians, a global opinion poll suggests.

The Pew Research Center in Washington said it interviewed 45,435 respondents in 40 countries to see what issues were most likely to keep them awake at night.

Sixty-one percent in Latin America identified climate change as their biggest worry, the highest proportion of any region, said Pew in a summary of its findings on Tuesday.

Concern was greatest in Peru and Brazil, running at 75 percent in both nations, it said.

Climate change was similarly the top concern for 59 percent of Africans surveyed in nine countries, with fear expressed most frequently in Burkina Faso (79 percent), Uganda (74 percent) and Ghana (71 percent).

In the Asia-Pacific region, a majority in half of the 10 countries surveyed identified climate change as the top issue, with the proportion running as high as 73 percent in India and 72 percent in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the IS group was the leading worry in Europe, where 70 percent expressed serious concern about the threat that it represents, Pew said.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans and 58 percent of Canadians felt likewise, and IS was also the top concern for a majority of respondents in South Korea, Japan, Australia and Indonesia.

Fear of IS was shared by respondents in the Middle East, where 84 percent of Lebanese - including 90 percent of its Sunnis and 87 percent of its Shias - said they were very concerned by the group's proliferation.

Sixty-two percent of respondents in Jordan and 54 percent in the Palestinian territories agreed with that concern, Pew said.

The full survey, which was conducted from March 25 to March 27, appears here.