A new study released as Africa hosts a major climate conference sees heightened awareness of climate issues, a strong shift towards eco-friendly alternatives and remarkably low levels of climate denial amongst respondents in 8 African countries.
The African Climate Awareness Report 2023 shows that growing awareness of climate change in Africa is spurring household demand for eco-friendly packaging and mobility options on the continent. According to the report, the continent is undergoing a shift in its attitudes to consumer staples like plastic and fossil fuels, as more people become aware of the environmental and health impacts of these products.
Based on surveys from almost 7,000 respondents across eight English-speaking African countries, the Stickybeak report, commissioned by Africa No Filter and written by a team at bird story agency, shows fossil-powered vehicles and plastic bags and bottles are losing their appeal.
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The study was conducted over a period from August 2022 to April 2023 and involved two surveys.
Respondents to the study showed a strong inclination towards green solutions such as solar-PV and electric vehicles, which are slowly entering the market, especially in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and some Maghreb states.
Several African governments have already introduced tax cuts and other incentives to boost the e-mobility industry and drive the demand for EVs.
“Recognition of the benefits of renewable energy and sustainable practices not only increased between August 2022 and April 2023 but was generally high,” notes the report.
“Positive perceptions of solar power (64% in August 2022 and 67% in April 2023) and electric cars (53% and 54%) suggests a growing awareness of these options and their potential impact.”
Conversely, the positive attitudes to diesel and petrol vehicles, already low, showed a decline (to 22% and 19%, respectively). Attitudes to plastic bags and bottles (with positive attitudes down from 21% to 18%) was also low, indicating a growing understanding of the negative environmental impacts of those items.
The Africa Climate Awareness Report 2023 further revealed that climate denial amongst African respondents was low.
“With less than 20% of the population surveyed believing that climate change is not a natural occurrence or that human activities play no role in it, climate change scepticism is notably low” it notes.
Most of those surveyed attributed the negative impacts of climate change to human actions and inactions.
“The most commonly reported cause was the poor treatment of the environment by people, which stood at 75% and 76% in the two surveys,” the report states. The second most common cause was the lack of government intervention to stop the problems that are causing these issues, which climbed slightly from 57% to 60%,” the report further notes.