Climate change: South Africans worried

South Africans are concerned about climate change and believe the corporate sector has a social responsibility to tackle the problem, said market research firm Synovate on Thursday. 

They found that 77 percent of South Africans were concerned about climate change compared to an average of 68% worldwide. Of those worried about climate change, 48 percent said they were very concerned while 29% said they were somewhat concerned.

Only nine percent of South Africans said they were not concerned about climate change, claiming it was "just part of a natural cycle of events". 

Synovate interviewed 500 South Africans living in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town as a part of a global research survey conducted on 13 000 people in 18 countries in 2010, the company said in a statement. 

The corporate sector, 83% of South Africans believed, had a social responsibility to reduce the effects of climate change, with 74% claiming that green technology was the best way to achieve it. 

95% claim to be doing their bit

"In South Africa, we are now seeing some action from government and businesses in South Africa to address the issue of climate change," said Synovate sales and marketing director Richard Rice.  "There have been recent reports of green legislation entering the business economy and experts are expecting government to implement a carbon tax which is feared to have a detrimental effect on South African business. 

"However, South African businesses are aware of the urgent need to address the climate change policies and argue for new thinking to fundamentally transform the economy into a green one." 

Twenty-one percent of South African interviewed blamed the industrial industry for climate change but only 5% blamed carbon emissions from cars. However, 95% of South African respondents claimed they were doing their bit to reduce climate change, by saving electricity. - (Sapa, June 2010)

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