26 January 2021
With 1.2 million respondents, the Peoples' Climate Vote is the largest survey of public opinion on climate change ever conducted. Using a new and unconventional approach to polling, results span 50 countries covering 56% of the world's population. The Peoples' Climate Vote is a pillar of the Mission 1.5 campaign launched in 2020 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners, including the University of Oxford, and a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to educate people about climate change solutions and ask them about the actions that they think governments should take. The aim of the Peoples' Climate Vote is to connect the public to policymakers – and to provide the latter with reliable information on whether people considered climate change an emergency, and how they would like their countries to respond. For some countries, this is the first time they have access to systematically gathered and analysed information on public opinion on climate change and policy solutions. Even for countries that have an understanding of overall public sentiment on climate change, it is often the first time that detailed questions have been asked about policy solutions on this scale. These perspectives are needed now more than ever as countries around the world are in the process of developing new national climate pledges – known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs – under the Paris Agreement. As the world's largest provider of support to countries for NDC design, UNDP has found that a key factor for countries raising levels of climate ambition is popular support for policies that address climate change. With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the Peoples' Climate Vote took on added meaning by providing insight into perceptions about the climate crisis in the context of a global pandemic. Many of the policy choices in the Peoples' Climate Vote – whether relating to jobs, energy, protecting nature or company regulation – speak to issues that countries are facing as they chart their recoveries.