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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a UN poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's the biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S., where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

  • The poll also shows there's widespread support for renewable energy, even in countries where fossil fuels are a major source of emissions — with 65% in favor in the U.S., 76% in Australia and 51% in Russia.

Of note: The findings come two days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it "might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency."

The big picture: The "People's Climate Vote" survey of people over the age of 14, organized by the UN Development Program and Oxford University, was conducted via ads distributed in mobile gaming apps from last October to December.

  • Cassie Flynn, UNDP's strategic adviser on climate change and head of its Climate Promise initiative, came up with the idea to advertise on apps like Angry Birds.
  • Some 550,000 people aged 14 to 18 took part in the survey, which had a margin of error of +/- 2%.

The bottom line: "There is a groundswell of people that are saying even during a pandemic that climate change is an emergency and here’s how we want to solve it," Flynn told Al Jazeera.

  • "Governments are facing extraordinary decisions that will affect generations to come, whether in dealing with COVID-19 or climate. The decisions about our future are being locked in now."

Read the full report, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Takeaways from Biden's sweeping order on climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's mammoth executive order on climate policy weighs in at over 7,500 words and resists any single narrative, but I've got a few initial takeaways.

Why it matters: The order aims to marshal the entire federal government behind new initiatives, so that means agencies that may not have the muscle memory or expertise of the resource and environmental branches like EPA and DOE.

White House nominates Rick Spinrad as NOAA leader

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday evening nominated Rick Spinrad, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Why it matters: Filling the NOAA slot would complete the Biden administration's leadership on the climate and environment team. The agency, located within the Commerce Department, houses the National Weather Service and conducts much of the nation's climate science research.

3 hours ago - World

Israeli officials will object to restoration of Iran deal in D.C. visit

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for strategic talks on Iran to stress their objection to a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to refuse to discuss its contents, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: That position is similar to the one Israel took in the year before the 2015 nuclear deal was announced, which led to a rift between the Israeli government and the Obama administration. History could now repeat itself.