London, June 13, 2012 - As the Rio+20 Earth
Summit kicks off, a new poll of 17,000 consumers across 17
countries finds that 55% of people worldwide want their government
to "play a leadership role in making ambitious international
commitments to reduce global poverty in ways that improve the
A further 40% want their government to support moderate
international commitments to the same end. The findings put
pressure on summit negotiators to deliver an outcome that will
satisfy constituents at home.
The survey, conducted in collaboration with National Geographic, is
part of a series of initiatives by The Regeneration
Project in the lead up to Rio+20, a cross-sectoral
collaboration that aims to accelerate progress in the transition to
Consumers in Latin America are particularly demanding of their
governments at the conference, with strong majorities in Mexico
(80%), Brazil (74%)-the summit's host-and Argentina (67%) calling
for ambitious leadership positions at the conference. Indians (63%)
are the next most likely to want their delegates to take ambitious
action at the Rio+20 Summit followed by Canadians (58%).
Half of American and Chinese consumers (51% each) call for their
governments to provide ambitious leadership at the conference.
Germans are the least likely of those in the 17 countries surveyed
to support a leadership position by their government at the
Perhaps the most compelling finding of the survey is that so few
people-only 5 percent globally-want their countries to avoid
committing to any international agreements at the summit. Americans
are the most inclined to prefer that their government makes no
international commitment, at 11%.
The poll is a strong endorsement of the
view that international agreements are needed to resolve
international sustainable development challenges.
Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President for Mission Programs at
National Geographic, commented, "Everyone heading to Rio should be
heartened to hear that there is broad public support for leaders to
take meaningful action on issues related to climate change. Surveys
like this suggest there is real opportunity here."
Eric Whan, Sustainability Director at GlobeScan said: "The poll
makes it clear that people want their governments to push for an
ambitious global agreement at Rio, even if that is not a goal of
the summit. Like we have seen in other research with National
Geographic, people are craving visionary leadership so that they
can follow suit in their own behavior as consumers."
Lindsay Clinton, Senior Manager at SustainAbility commented:
"While international treaties are not an expected outcome from
Rio+20, the evidence that consumers want national governments to
lead is a call to arms. If governments fail to act, we hope that
the private sector will heed the call from consumers and exhibit
leadership through their own sustainability commitments at the