India Leads the Way in Combating Climate Change: Time Magazine

Washington:  India is leading the way in efforts to combat the challenges of global warming while skeptical Americans still question climate change, according to a new global survey by Time magazine.

Of the six countries polled, Indians were the likeliest to express deep concerns about energy and consumption and were the most committed to conservation and the most optimistic about their ability to reduce emissions.

More than 9 in 10 Indians reported that conservation issues were "very important" to them, compared to 68 percent overall, the US news magazine's survey about attitudes toward energy found.

Indians were more than twice as willing to pay more for clean energy as residents of Brazil, Germany, Turkey, South Korea or the US.

"Each of these countries has moved to minimise their environmental footprint in different ways," the Time survey noted.

"Germans are in the habit of powering down their computers. Brazilians are assiduous about switching off lights. The US leads the way in recycling."

"But Indians reported the most comprehensive approach to energy conservation, with 8 in 10 Indians reporting that they have altered their personal habits to curb consumption," Time said.

Those changes include several simple tasks that go a long way toward shaving both costs and carbon emissions, it said.

"Indians are the likeliest of the six nations surveyed to carpool, take public transportation, and walk rather than ride in a vehicle.

"They unplug appliances from the socket when not using them more frequently than anyone else," the survey noted.

While conservation correlates with financial discipline across the six countries in the survey, "India is also unique," the Time said noting, "It is a burgeoning superpower with stark energy challenges."

"These systemic challenges appear to have shaped attitudes toward energy, driving both social consciousness and innovation," it said.

Asked what concern guides their energy habits, Indians cited minimising their environmental footprint (46 percent) over curbing costs (34 percent) or maximising comfort (21 percent).

Though Indians are widely cognisant of climate issues, they're more optimistic than their peers about the world's ability to cope with the challenges, Time said.

More than 60 percent of Indians say they believe the world can slash carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050, compared to 37 percent of respondents overall.

Of the six nations surveyed by Time, India was only one in which a majority was optimistic about the potential to achieve that level of cuts.

The survey was conducted among 3,505 online respondents equally divided between the US, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, India and Korea.

Polling was conducted from May 10 to May 22. The overall margin of error overall is 1.8 percent, Time said.

Story First Published: June 18, 2014 09:51 IST

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