China

Summary

Enjoying increases in income and access to food, water and energy, a higher proportion of people in China feel that life has improved in the last five years than in any other Climate Asia country. Chinese people’s awareness and understanding of the term “climate change” is also high compared with those in other countries.

However, alongside the dramatic improvements people have experienced, they feel concerned about the effect of pollution on their health. Across the Chinese regions surveyed – Beijing, Sichuan and Guangdong – people have noticed increases in temperature, rainfall and extreme weather events. Yet far fewer people than in other countries are experiencing – and expect to experience – high levels of impact as a result of these changes. Overall, a higher percentage of Chinese people said that they were responding to climate change by reducing their personal contribution to it than in any other Climate Asia country.

The Chinese government made responding to climate change a core part of its latest five-year plan and people say that they have been exposed to a wide range of communication initiatives around climate change. They feel confident in their government to act, yet believe that the media should do better in informing them about what they can do as individuals.

Although people are aware of climate change, there are few community discussions about it and people have a low level of knowledge of how to make the appropriate lifestyle changes. People do not feel well informed, for example, about responding to extreme weather events. There are opportunities to use television and online media to increase understanding of how to take action to respond to changes on both the individual and community level.

Data portal

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