Press release №1977


  • 70% of Russians believe that the global climate has become unpredictable (sudden drops in temperatures from hot to cold)
  • 55% consider that the global warming will have negative impact on Russia

An overwhelming majority of Russians think that the global climate is changing. At the same time, the VCIOM-Sputnik survey data suggest that more than half of respondents believe that this is caused by human activities.

MOSCOW, July 24, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey devoted to the Russian opinion on the world climate change.

Severe changes in weather patterns are experienced by 86% of Russians, however, most of them (70%) cite weather unpredictability (severe drops in temperatures from hot to cold) rather than a trend towards warming (11%) or cooling (5%). At the same time, 55% say that human factor plays a crucial role; 35% consider that shifts in temperatures are caused by nature.

Today Russians are poorly aware of what the global warming is compared to seven or ten years ago: only 20% of respondents say that they have a clear idea about that (vs 34% in 2007), however an overwhelming majority of Russians (91%) have a general overview. The level of awareness among young respondents is much lower than among older generations.  

Despite the increased share of positive assessments, wary and negative opinions still prevail: every second (51%) considers global warming to be a severe problem that requires an immediate attention; more than half of respondents (55%) believe that Russia may be negatively affected. Not incidentally, global warming in the national ranking is among the top three reasons behind this summer unusual weather. Favorable impact is reported by 27% (an increase from 18% in 2007). Simultaneously, more than three-quarters of respondents (39%) think that the topic is far-fetched and speculative.

The Medialogia Company carried out an analysis of the global warming mentions in the Russian media. A total number of 100,000 publications over five years were found; a general trend is an increase in mentions. Most of publications were made in November 2015 (Paris Climate  Agreement came into force), March and June 2017 (experts of European Commission’s Joint Research Center reported that a series of devastating floods would take place in Europe by the end of the century; Donald Trump officially declared US withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement).

The VCIOM-Sputnik Russian nationwide survey was conducted on July 16-17, 2017. The survey involved 1,200 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

Results for the 2007-2010 studies are based on household surveys.

The Russian media publications were monitored and analyzed by the Medialogia Company using the company’s media database involving 41,500 media sources such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, news agencies and online media. The study took place from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017.

Many people think that over the recent years the Earth’s climate has been changing. What do you think about it? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
Climate is getting warmer 11 9 8 16 14 9
Climate is getting colder 5 5 6 4 3 8
Climate has become unpredictable;  temperatures can sharply drop from heat to cold 70 77 73 68 68 69
The Earth is not undergoing   any specific changes 11 8 11 11 12 10
Don’t know 3 1 2 1 3 4
In your opinion, if the climate is changing, what is it caused by? (closed-ended question, one answer %)
  2007 2008 2010 2017
Changes are caused by human activities   59 57 51 55
Changes are a natural phenomenon, when warming and cooling periods change each other   30 29 31 35
The Earth is not undergoing   any specific changes 4 5 11 5
Don’t know 7 9 7 5
There has recently been much talk about global warming. Have you heard about that? (closed-ended question, one answer %)
  2007 2008 2010 2017
Yes, I have heard a lot 34 42 36 20
I have heard something 59 48 58 71
I have not heard anything 5 8 5 8
Don’t know 2 2 1 1
Which of the following statements do you most agree with?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2010 2017
Global warming is a serious problem which needs to be tackled immediately, otherwise we  may face a climate catastrophe, irreversible changes in living conditions on Earth    52 51
Global warming is a fictitious, overblown problem used by those who want to  make money out of natural fear of natural disasters 34 39
Don’t know 14 10
In your opinion, will the global warming have positive or negative effects on Russia?  (closed-ended question, one answer %)
  2007 2010 2017
Rather positive 18 19 27
Rather negative 59 49 55
Don’t know 23 32 18

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