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Survey: Climate Change Now Biggest Threat

Climate change has replaced terrorism as the primary threat seen by Finns. And according to the poll, the secondary threat in Finns' minds is floods, storms and heavy rains -- all closely associated with climate change.

In the study commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the pollster Taloustutkimus interviewed Finns about what threats they see as directly impacting their own lives.

The third biggest threat was an economic downturn. Terrorism, which was seen as the top threat in a similar study three years ago, now ranks fourth.

The poll also suggests that people in Finland are now more ready to work to prevent climate change. The most popular ways of doing so is sorting and recycling waste. Almost two out of three respondents are ready to do so. Almost half said they are prepared to save energy.

More than 40 percent said they would be ready to use mass transit more, while about 30 percent would agree to cut car usage. Three out of four working people are enthusiastic about the idea of a public transportation pass supplied by their employer.

Natural catastrophes worrisome

As Finns see it, the biggest threats related to climate change are the recent increase in floods, heavy rains and storms. The melting of the Arctic polar ice cap is seen as almost as great a risk.

Almost half of those surveyed mentioned milder winters and less snow cover as a threat to their lives.

Respondents better able to specify the causes of climate change than during the 2002 and 2004 polls.

Taloustutkimus has been tracking Finns' views on climate change over the past five years. For this latest study, it interviewed more than 1000 Finns in 90 towns around the country during January.

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