Not everyone knows about climate change

AT Africa Climate Week, starting in Gabon on Monday, representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector, and financial institutions will “take the pulse of climate action in the region”. Among their challenges is one especially troubling fact: Huge numbers of Africans have not even heard of climate change.

On average across 17 countries where Afrobarometer has completed its Round 9 surveys (2021/2022, ongoing), only 51% of respondents are familiar with the concept of climate change.

Awareness is relatively high in Malawi (74%), Mauritius (73%), and Gabon (70%), but fewer than half of adults have heard of climate change in nine of the 17 countries, including just 22% of Tunisians and 30% of Nigerians.

Among those who have heard of climate change, its negative impact is widely known: 76% say it is making life in their country worse.

Public perceptions like this can fuel action at Africa Climate Week and the United Nations 2022 Climate Change Conference COP27 that will follow in November in Egypt.

But building momentum for climate-change prevention and mitigation may first require targeted interventions to make more people aware of the problem. – The Continent

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