The largest-ever survey of Africans’ perceptions of climate change has found widespread reports of worsening quality of life and deteriorating conditions for agricultural production, as well as limited “climate change literacy” among average citizens.
In the ninth of its Pan-Africa Profiles series based on recent public-opinion surveys in 34 African countries, Afrobarometer reports that in all but four countries, pluralities say climate conditions for agricultural production have worsened over the past decade, most often due to drought.
And among Africans who have heard of climate change, a large majority – including about nine out of 10 East Africans – say it is making life in their country worse.
But fewer than three in 10 Africans are “climate change literate” in the sense that they have heard of climate change, associate it with negative changes in weather patterns, and know that human activity is a major cause.
The new Pan-Africa Profile report explores widely varying experiences and perceptions of climate change by country and region, and points to a need for policymakers and activists to build informed core populations that understand climate-change threats and will support coordinated government and international action.