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Surging mass recognition
of threat to planet & joint willingness
for action

Environmental trends from six waves of international values surveys conducted between 2014 and 2021

In advance of the United Nations COP 26 Conference on Climate in Glasgow we released our massive trend study into climate and the environment, in cooperation with Global Citizen. The study is based on nearly 250,000 interviews in 20 countries over a period of 6 years. A selection of the findings:

  • Some highlights:
    * 78% of people globally worry about the damage humans cause to the planet
    * Anxieties about human made damage to planet Earth increasingly unite people from all walks of life and world regions.
    * Among youth globally (18-24 years old and the highest educated generation ever in human history) the rise in environmental concern is steepest.
    * The rise in environmental concern transcends the current polarization between progressives and conservatives globally – something that we rarely see in research.
    * People who worry about damage to the planet have more trust in the United Nations than in their government.
    * You can read much more in the report, also about young changemakers globally

The values based trend study was covered in international media with an exclusive news article in The Independent ‘’More people than ever before worried humans are ruining the planet’’ and with coverage by the India Times Times and Forbes. Also our partner Global Citizen published a article about the survey, related to the COP 26 meetings and negotiations.

The full Glocalities survey report can be downloaded at this page.


New Research Reveals 78% of the World’s Population Fears Damage to our Planet

  • People Who Worry About Damage to the Planet Trust the United Nations and Science
  • World’s Religious Leaders Unite to Proclaim this The Holy Decade of Climate Action and Urge Government Leaders to Urgently Tackle the Crisis 
  • Global Rise in Environmental Concern Sees a Collective Demand for G20 Leaders to Come Together for Decisive Action at the COP26 Summit

Amsterdam, Netherlands | Tuesday October 26, 2021: Today, the most in-depth and largest global values based trend study ever conducted on climate action and environmental concerns, from Glocalities, a leading research agency and in collaboration with the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen, reveals that 78% of the world’s population across all demographics, are united in their anxieties about the environment. Based on the research Global Citizen calls for world leaders to take decisive action at the COP26 summit to tackle the climate crisis.  The latest UNFCCC report shows the world is on track for 2.7°C of warming by the end of the century – way off the 1.5°C goal which scientists and experts say is needed to stave off catastrophic effects of climate change.


Spanning 20 countries and carried out over a 6 year period, the wide reaching research based on 247,722 interviews among 181,695 respondents measured people's values around their environmental concerns and climate change. The report’s findings highlight rising fears across all demographics, indicating it is not just the youth who have anxieties about damage to the planet. Anxieties about human caused damage to the planet are now observed as a global trend across all age-groups, gender, educational and socio-cultural backgrounds, with climate change the most important global environmental concern of our time, followed by air and water pollution. The world’s environmental concerns have steadily increased despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In China and India environmental concerns are more framed as worries about pollution than about climate change. 

Today’s study comes ahead of the G20/COP26 summits when only around half of all G20 emissions are covered by enhanced pledges to cut them in line with the Paris Agreement. Some large emitters amongst G20 nations have yet to submit new targets ahead of COP26 (including China, Australia and India) whilst others have submitted targets which either do not move, or weaken their commitments (such as Russia and Brazil). Additionally, we remain USD$10-15BN short of the $100bn annual climate promise for developing countries. Several G20 nations have yet to make new climate financing commitments – including the G20 host Italy, where worries about damage to the planet have increased from 83% to 90% between 2014 and 2021.

Steepest change among global youth

Today’s study highlights the world is united in their climate concern. Further, these findings regarding unity echo a 2020 Glocalities survey measuring individual’s trust in the United Nations. Both studies indicate that those who have higher trust in the UN and those who are most concerned about climate change exhibit ‘’bigger picture'' thinking and cooperative natures. These attributes are thus essential to engage with and build upon as communities, cultures, and countries work together to combat the climate crisis. 

The research findings include:

  • In 2014, 71% of people globally were worried about the damage humans cause to the planet. This figure has risen to 78% in 2021. 
  • Steepest rise in concerns among youth - among 18 to 24 years old. In 2014 this age group had the lowest level of environmental concerns (66%), now their level of concern has risen from +11% to 77%, and 59% of global youth find climate change a very serious problem. 
The values and motivations of people matter 

Taking a deeper look into the values and motivations of people with environmental and climate anxieties the research found:

  • The global youth who worry about the damage that humans cause to the planet require courageous, ambitious, inspiring and fact based leadership to overcome the climate crisis. They are especially attracted by heroic, visionary and fact based narratives and leadership styles (based on the appeal of the Hero, Creator and Sage archetypes among these youth). 
  • People who worry about damage to the planet have more trust in the United Nations platform (48% versus 33% among people who are not concerned) and have more trust in science (77% versus 63%). They trust the UN (48%) more than the government (34%) in general, which points to an opportunity for leaders to collaborate in solving the climate crisis
  • People who worry about the climate crisis share 3 clear convictions: a principle of unity, a spirit of collaboration and a learning mindset. They believe in equal treatment, sharing, empathy, tolerance and business ethics.
  • Demand for collective action, putting pressure on leaders: The research findings revealed people are willing to act and put pressure on leaders to act on their concerns: in the voting booth, by signing petitions and in their donation behaviour.
  • North America is the only continent where environmental concerns have decreased since 2019, despite rising concern among the youth. These declining concerns go together with an extreme polarization between the values groups of Conservatives and Creatives on the topic, especially in the United States.

The new far reaching climate value study highlights the historic threshold among the global population that has never before been researched at such a large scale.

Reactions to the survey report

Martijn Lampert, Research Director and Co-Founder of Glocalities says: ’The world population has woken up to the urgency of the ecological crisis. Anxieties about human made damage to planet Earth increasingly unite people from all walks of life. The time has come for  courageous, fact based and visionary leadership to build a grand coalition for safeguarding the vitality of our planet and future generations. People in all countries want to contribute and are way  ahead of many political leaders in recognizing the urgency of the task at hand."

Michael Sheldrick, Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Affairs Officer of Global Citizen said: “4 in 5 people around the world are worried about the damage being caused to the planet. Ahead of COP26, the G20 nations - responsible for 80% of all emissions - must respond to these widespread concerns by adopting clear measures to slash emissions by half by 2030. And developed countries - including Italy, Spain, and Australia - must bring forward new financial commitments in the coming days to provide the $10-15 billion still needed to meet the $100bn annual climate promise made to developing countries.”

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, President & Founder Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values says: "Just imagine what could happen if all religious people (84% of the world population) would stand up, unite, and do everything they can to save humanity by protecting our beloved planet, our common home, Mother Earth. That’s why I feel blessed that religious leaders all over the world raise their voices and proclaim: The Holy Decade of Climate Action. Taking care of our planet is a spiritual duty, in every religion, and if we succeed, we humans can create heaven on earth. The research shows that the world stands united in recognizing the threat of human made damage to our planet and wants to take action. Political, business and religious leaders need to take their responsibility now and deliver on their promises.” 

Video message - Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp talking exclusively (length 7 minutes) about the Holy Decade proclamation, COP26 and this research. 

Video message download link TV quality (50FPS, 500 MB)

Notes To Editors:
  • The Glocalities international trend survey is based on 247,722 interviews among 181,695 respondents from 20 countries conducted between 2014 and 2021. It reveals that people around the world are increasingly feeling and recognizing the collective threat of man-made damage to the planet. 
  • The share of people who worry about the damage that humans cause to the planet has increased from 71% in 2014 to 78% in 2021. The steepest rise in environmental concerns (+11%) is present among the youth: from 66% in 2014 to 77% in 2021
  • The Glocalities global trend data show how united people are in these concerns: the rising trend in environmental concerns is present across all age-groups, gender, educational and socio-cultural backgrounds. This feeling of rising levels of collectively experienced threat provides increasing momentum for climate action based on trends in the international population. The findings signal a unique opportunity for politicians who want to represent and constructively respond to the increasing worries in the world population.


The Glocalities international trend survey is based on 247,722 interviews among 181,695 respondents from 20 countries conducted in 6 waves of fieldwork that were conducted between 2014 and 2021. Each of these fieldwork waves was conducted in January, February and March through the online research panels of Dynata and Kantar, two agencies that are specialized in international fieldwork. The surveys were held in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. Prior to the data collection quotas for age, education, gender and region were set up, based on reference data for each of these countries. The Glocalities samples are weighted according to census data with respect to age, gender, region and education. The margin of error for the global trend analyses in each of the six waves is +/-0,45% with a 95% confidence interval and +/- 0,60% with a 99% confidence interval.


Glocalities is an Amsterdam-based international research agency that specializes in global insights based on values, lifestyle and psychology. The Glocalities research program that started in 2014 now covers 35 countries. NGOs, companies and the public sector use Glocalities insights to connect with audiences, based on a deep understanding of trends, people and cultures. In the international Glocalities surveys conducted since 2014, we have incorporated several research instruments that provide a deeper understanding of people, such as values segments and trends.These instruments make it possible to obtain a holistic view of groups of people and gain deeper knowledge of their drivers and behaviors. Free reports on a multitude of topics such as the Sustainable Development Goals are available on our website. For more information, visit


Global Citizen is the world's largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030. With over 10 million monthly advocates, our voices have the power to drive lasting change around sustainability, equality, and humanity. We post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen to act — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. By downloading our app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards with tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world. For more information, visit


Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp (Netherlands) is the President and Founder of the Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values. He has worked as Rabbi in the Liberal Jewish Community in The Hague, the Netherlands, and as Rabbi of the Union of Dutch Reform Jewish Communities. As a religious leader he was a participant in the World Economic Forum and various other international conferences around the world. In 2001, he was elected president of the European Region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. He was also appointed as a member of the Earth Charter commission in 2000. He is the founder of the Hope Foundation for Children for Universal Education and was a member of the UNESCO committee working towards a new chart of global ethics. Awraham Soetendorp has also been a board member and (co)-chair at various organizations and committees. He serves as an Earth Charter Commissioner and is part of Religions for Peace, an international coalition of representatives from the world's religions dedicated to promoting peace and is member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders of the Elijah Interfaith Institute. As the initiator of the Holy Decade of Climate Action he is (together with and VU University Amsterdam) the driving force behind a global movement among religious leaders and communities to turn urgency into action.

More information about the study:

Martijn Lampert, Research Director Glocalities:

Martijn Lampert

Research Director

+31 (0)20 589 83 73

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