International Public Opinion on the Environment

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Science  21 Jul 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5222, pp. 354-358
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5222.354


This article analyzes public opinion data on environmental issues collected in two major surveys. The data reveal substantial concern about the environment in both developing and industrial countries along with perceptions that the quality of the environment has declined and will continue to decline. Developing country respondents rate their local and national environmental quality lower than do industrial country respondents, whereas both groups rate global environmental quality about the same. The data also reveal considerable willingness among the developing and industrial countries to accept responsibility for the world's environmental problems and recognition of the importance of governments in addressing local and national environmental issues and of strong international agencies in addressing transnational issues.