Climate change jumped on top of the issues most concerning Italians at global level, surpassing the threat of
terrorism, a survey by a leading domestic research institute showed on Monday.
It was the first time environment-related topics ranked first among the country’s major international worries, Milan-based Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) said in its report.
The poll — run between Dec. 5 and 10 along with Ipsos Public Affairs — investigated on what topics concerned the Italian society in 2018 at both international and domestic level.
CLIMATE CHANGE 1ST GLOBAL CONCERN
“For the first time, climate change represents for Italy the most significant threat at global level, making a considerable leap forward in percentage terms from 13 percent to 28 percent (compared to 2017),” the report stated.
The indication came as nearly 200 countries and the European Union (EU) recently agreed on a set of rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Protection Agreement, during the UN Climate Conference (COP24) held in Poland earlier this month.
The “Katowice Climate Package” contained a common rulebook to help curb global warming. Yet, the summit failed to agree on the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — stating the global scientific knowledge on climate change, and urging more radical measures.
In previous editions of the ISPI survey — now in its fifth — climate change had represented the top global worry by 13 percent of people in 2017 and 2016, and by 16 percent in 2015.
Terrorism linked to an extremist interpretation of Islam came in the second place, yet it kept following a declining trend: it was the highest worry for 16 percent of Italians in 2018, against 23 percent in 2017, and 38 percent in 2015.
Global social inequalities (13 percent) and economic crisis (11 percent) continued to be worrying issues as well, ranking third and fourth.
Beside the potential factors of threat at global level, the ISPI-Ipsos survey also investigated on what news items involved Italians the most in 2018, showing a slightly different scenario.
In this perspective, in fact, the issue of migrants and refugees was mentioned among the most worrying topics by 43 percent of people involved, and considered as the most concerning one by 25 percent.
ECONOMIC CRISIS STILL TOP DOMESTIC WORRY
With regards to domestic topics, the economic situation was again the major source of concern among Italians by large, after a short period of relief.
“Problems related to economy are still perceived as the main (domestic) threat to our country, and they are growing compared to last year,” the authors stressed in the report.
They specified some 55 percent of those involved in 2018 claimed to be worried by the economic situation most of all — the highest figure after 2014 (67 percent).
“Since 2014, the economic crisis has always been in first place, yet following a decreasing trend,” ISPI director Paolo Magri noted in a short video comment to the survey.
“However, such decrease stops this year, and this is probably due to concerns linked to the spread and to our public finances,” Magri explained.
After the 67 percent peak registered in December 2014, the share of Italians seeing the economic crisis as the top threat had drastically dropped to 47 percent in 2015, 46 percent in 2016, and 48 percent in 2017.
Immigration was confirmed as the second most worrying domestic factor (16 percent), followed by the recent row between the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government and the European Union (11 percent) on national budget, and by terrorism (6 percent).
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