Global Trends 2020

Environmental disaster: Rising concern for emerging economies

While in the West public concerns about the environment are static, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa lead the world in concern.

Globally, the majority of the public believe “we’re heading towards an environmental disaster unless we change our habits quickly” (78% and 85% in emerging economies). What this means in terms of consumer behaviour is less clear – 81% around the world say they are willing to pay more for products that use ingredients that do not harm the environment (fewer actually do of course).

At the same time consumers do not believe businesses are doing their part – only 39% of the global public feel they can trust business to care for the environment.

Legislative changes can make a big difference. Many countries have introduced charges for plastic bags over recent years, with 500 million fewer bags used in the first six months of the charge in England.52 Not only did the public become more supportive of the plastic bag charge, but also more supportive of other charges to tackle waste.53

With public concern and willingness to act high, businesses and governments can be bolder in promoting green growth and clearer on strategies to help achieve this.

Antonia Dickman
Director, Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute

In Britain, nearly half claim they intend to fly less

In a sign that a ‘green recovery’ from Coronavirus might be possible, nearly 50% of the UK claim they will fly less once lockdown restrictions ease.


Pandemic accelerates automation

The pandemic is accelerating automation, through forcing workers to isolate. Automation technology is being used to process some government business loans that were launched after the crisis.