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Jordanians’ awareness about climate change — more needs to be done

climate change
(Photo: Envato Elements)
climate change

Fares Braizat

The writer is chairman of NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions

According to a study published July 3 by NAMA polling center-SAWTI, there is a gap between what Jordanians feel about change in weather patterns and the concept of climate change. The survey, which was conducted on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,827 respondents, revealed that although an overwhelming majority of Jordanians, 87 percent, said they felt a change in the pattern of the weather, only 52 percent of them reported familiarity with the term “climate change”. اضافة اعلان

Given the international prevalence of climate change policies through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 13, the level of awareness ought to be significantly improved. High levels of awareness about climate change were especially prevalent among respondents with higher education levels, as indicated by 70 percent of those who completed university education, 49 percent among those who completed secondary education, and 36 percent among those who did not complete secondary education. This means that while more awareness needs to be raised among people with lower education levels, more educated people should be targeted to spread awareness about climate change and its implications for life on earth.

When asked what they knew about climate change, 54 percent of those who were aware about climate change linked it with the change in weather and seasons; 20 percent associated it with global warming, pollution, and rising temperature levels; 10 percent tied it to less water and deforestation; and 7 percent referred to ozone depletion. Young Jordanians and urban centers should be particularly targeted for raising awareness about the issue.  
The survey findings reveal a pessimist attitude, with 58 percent of those who are aware of climate change believing that there is nothing to be done to combat this challenge. This finding demonstrates that it is essential to influence public opinion to believe that each individual can do something to address the problem
The targeting should focus on making the link between climate change and its direct impact on the individual. Half of the Jordanians sampled — among those who had heard of climate change — believe that it affects, or will affect, them personally. Of those, 56 percent reported that climate change may cause health issues, while 12 percent referred to economic implications. These are essential clues that should guide awareness campaigns which should also focus on linking “causes” to daily life habits.

To be sure, 46 percent of Jordanians who have heard of climate change stated that “air pollution” was its main contributor, compared to 19 percent who blamed it on deforestation and 8 percent on consumerism; 3 percent believe that climate change occurs naturally. These “beliefs” should constitute a major basis for tackling climate change.

The survey findings reveal a pessimist attitude, with 58 percent of those who are aware of climate change believing that there is nothing to be done to combat this challenge. This finding demonstrates that it is essential to influence public opinion to believe that each individual can do something to address the problem. The seeds for that influence are already there.

At the same time, 28 percent argued that the problem could be tackled through reforestation, compared to 22 percent who referred to increasing regulations on factories to better consider the environment, 21 percent who urged using environmentally friendly products, 11 percent who were for raising awareness, 7 percent who were for using electric cars and providing more public transportation options, and the mere 4 percent who said that switching to renewable energy can contribute to reducing the implications of climate change.

The study found evidence of guidance for public policy options to increase awareness about climate change.

It is evident that there is a lot of work to be done regarding the individual responsibility. When asked about who should tackle climate change, of those who are aware of the issue, 77 percent said that the government, international organizations, and environmental organizations are mostly responsible. Only 6 percent asserted that the responsibility falls on the individual. This small percentage may also explain why only 5.6 percent of those who heard of climate change stated that they have taken, or regularly take, action out of concern for climate change. They clarified that they preserve the environment, plant trees, and use alternative energy sources, among other actions.

Clearly we have a long way to go, especially when nearly half of Jordanians are unsatisfied with cleanliness in the country.


The writer is chairman of NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions [email protected]


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