Environ. Commun. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2019.1699137 (2020)

Climate change is a global concern, yet most research on public perceptions of climate change and acceptability of potential solutions is conducted with respondents from the Global North or from Western democracies. However, there are cultural differences in public attitudes toward climate change between the East and West. A focus on the Global North excludes those most vulnerable to climate change impacts, who may consequently be more willing to experiment with more controversial mitigation options.

Masahiro Sugiyama from the University of Tokyo, Japan and colleagues surveyed college students in six Asia-Pacific countries. They found that most believed that human-caused global warming was occurring, and that more serious mitigation efforts are needed despite potential economic consequences. Although students from the Global South (China, India, the Philippines) were more positive towards geoengineering as a potential option and favoured more immediate deployment than those in the Global North (Australia, Japan, South Korea), there was broad agreement on the need for research governance. This study highlights the importance of soliciting non-Western perspectives to promote inclusive global discourse.