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(12/03/09) -

Britons Doubtful About Copenhagen Success

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Britain do not expect this month’s Climate Change Summit in Denmark to result in a comprehensive agreement to deal with global warming, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. While 58 per cent of respondents would prefer to see a legally binding agreement that sets specific targets for all signatories, only nine per cent foresee this actually happening.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Britain do not expect this month’s Climate Change Summit in Denmark to result in a comprehensive agreement to deal with global warming, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. While 58 per cent of respondents would prefer to see a legally binding agreement that sets specific targets for all signatories, only nine per cent foresee this actually happening.

In addition, 38 per cent of respondents expect no agreement to come out of Copenhagen, and 38 per cent foresee a political compromise to meet certain milestones on a voluntary basis.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. In 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which states that global warming has been "very likely"—or 90 per cent certain—caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The Copenhagen Climate Change Summit is scheduled to take place from Dec. 7 to Dec. 18. Countries attending the summit are supposed to draft a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2012.

Yesterday, British prime minister Gordon Brown outlined his expectations for the Climate Summit, saying, "We are in the happy position of being able to work with the rest of Europe to get a climate change agreement. The talks that are taking place now, including at the Commonwealth Conference, are a desire to bring together the richest countries who will have to contribute to a climate change deal financially as well as with bold and ambitious targets and the developing countries who we want to make progress but whom we want to be able to help."

Polling Data

As you may know, representatives from 170 countries will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month to participate in a Climate Summit organized by the United Nations. Which of these scenarios would you prefer to see when the Climate Summit is over?

A legally binding agreement that sets specific targets for all signatories

58%

A political compromise to meet certain milestones on a voluntary basis

19%

No agreement—countries dealing with climate change independently of each other

10%

Not sure

13%

And which of these scenarios do you expect will actually happen when the Climate Summit is over?

A legally binding agreement that sets specific targets for all signatories

9%

A political compromise to meet certain milestones on a voluntary basis

38%

No agreement—countries dealing with climate change independently of each other

38%

Not sure

15%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,019 British adults, conducted from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27, 2009. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)