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

U.S. Universities accepting Duolingo English Test

With the suspension of traditional English proficiency tests in countries most affected by the coronavirus, a wave of US institutions are now accepting the results of the Duolingo English Test, either as stand-alone proof or as a supplement to other measures of English-language proficiency.



Zoom introduces new virtual background feature

As more people are using video conferencing software due to having to work from home, Zoom have introduced a series of playful backgrounds they allow people to pretend they are anywhere else.