Epson shows rise in global climate optimism
EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
The Manila Times
A RESEARCH from Epson showed that people see climate change as a primary threat on a par with the ongoing financial crisis and revealed that despite increasing climate impacts, climate optimism has grown to over 48 percent. According to the latest findings from Epson’s second Climate Reality Barometer, while the world economy proves to be a distraction from efforts to address climate challenges, climate change remains a primary concern for many. The survey also revealed that people are increasingly optimistic that climate disaster can be averted in their lifetime. It showed, however, that there are significant variations in confidence levels, driven by factors such as economics and age. The immediate financial issues are people’s main concern. While “fixing the economy” (22 percent) and “rising prices” (21 percent) top the list of respondents’ priorities, climate change ranks a very close third (20 percent). The individual country members of the Group of Seven all record levels of optimism significantly below the 48 percent global average — Canada (36.6 percent), France (22.5 percent), Germany (23.8 percent), Italy (25.2 percent), Japan (10.4 percent), the United Kingdom (28.4 percent) and the United States (39.4 percent). On the other hand, rapidly emerging and fast-growing economies record levels of climate optimism significantly above the global average: China (76.2 percent), India (78.3 percent), Indonesia (62.6 percent), Kenya (76 percent), Mexico (66 percent) and the Philippines (71.9 percent). The study also stressed that age is a factor, with the oldest and youngest age ranges most concerned about climate change. Those 55 and over are the only group to cite climate change as its most pressing global issue (22.2 percent), while the 16 to 24 group is the only one to rank it second (19.3 percent) — all other age ranges rank it third. Yasunori Ogawa, global president of Epson commented, “Epson’s corporate purpose is focused on improving lives and the planet, and we will devote significant resources to achieve this.” “We hope that the Barometer’s insights will help governments, industries and individuals to step up their efforts to avert climate disaster. While we know there is a long way to go, we believe we can build a better future if we work together and act now,” Ogawa added. Growing global optimism appears to contradict climate reality. In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that “human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world.” “The harsh reality is that the past seven years have been the warmest on record, and we run a real risk of passing safe temperature limits. Yet this survey shows that people across the world remain hopeful that their actions alongside those of government and corporations can transform society for the better,” said Dr. Tara Shine, environmental scientist and co-chief executive officer of Change by Degrees.