The findings, which were gathered by a GlobeScan Radar annual tracking poll, show that concerns about the environment have reached a two-decade low since the start of the financial crisis. The survey questioned 22,812 people in 22 countries.
The poll interviewed participants on the importance of seven environmental issues, ranging from auto emissions to depletion of natural resources. Most of the concerns were taken most seriously in the mid-2000s, but have dropped sharply since then.
Only 49 percent of people now consider climate change a very serious issue – far fewer than at the beginning of the crisis in 2009.
Water pollution is currently viewed as the most critical environmental concern, rated by 58 percent as a very serious issue. However, that number is down from 2006, when around 75 per cent of respondents viewed it as a serious topic.