Greeks fear climate change

Most Greeks believe that climate change is a threat to their environment and nearly half intend to change their ways to curb the damage being wreaked, according to an opinion poll whose results were made public yesterday. A total of 87 percent believe that climate change will have a negative impact on Greece, according to the poll carried out by VPRC on behalf of the environmental group WWF Hellas and Ethniki Insurance. More than half (56 percent) of the 1,000 people polled expressed concern about dwindling water resources and the risk of drought, while 23 percent worries about rising temperatures. The country’s agricultural sector is likely to be the hardest hit by future changes, according to 81 percent of respondents. More than half (55 percent) blamed the government for the current situation, with 24 percent saying that big industry was responsible. Four of 10 called for stricter inspections on manufacturers. «Citizens believe that industry is to blame and it is true that 54 percent of the greenhouse gases in this country are attributable to 150 firms,» said VPRC’s Managing Director Yiannis Mavris during a public presentation of the poll’s result. A total of 75 percent of respondents said that measures to curb climate change should be implemented on an international level. Only two in 10 said they trusted the media to inform them about climate change, with only 3 percent trusting the government to brief them. More than a third (36 percent) said they trusted academics’ statements, with 24 percent putting their faith in non-governmental organizations (NGOs). But the poll indicated that a large proportion of Greeks are prepared to change their daily habits in order to contribute to curbing the effects of greenhouse gases. Five in 10 said they would reduce their energy consumption over the next year, four in 10 said they would start buying energy-saving devices and more than three in 10 said they would use their cars less. «Greeks are starting to grasp the concept of taking personal responsibility for solving this problem,» said WWF Hellas Director Dimitris Karavelas.

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