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News release

Emaswati look to government, one another for action on climate change

17 Nov 2023 Eswatini
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News release
Key findings
  • More than half (53%) of Emaswati say they have heard of climate change, while 46% say they have not heard of this phenomenon (Figure 1). Awareness of climate change is particularly low among poor citizens (42%) and those with primary education or less (35%) (Figure 2).
  • Among citizens who are aware of climate change: o Eight in 10 (79%) say it is making life in Eswatini worse, a 16-percentage-point increase since 2018 (Figure 3). o Almost eight in 10 (78%) believe that ordinary citizens can help curb climate change, and almost nine in 10 (86%) say the government must take immediate action to limit climate change, even if it is expensive, causes job losses, or takes a toll on the economy (Figure 4). o Most assign primary responsibility for fighting climate change to ordinary citizens (39%) or to the government (34%) (Figure 5). o Large majorities say “a lot more” action to fight climate change is needed from the government (89%), business and industry (87%), developed countries (85%), and ordinary citizens (71%) (Figure 6).
  • A majority (55%) of Emaswati say the government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” at addressing the problem of climate change (Figure 7).

Overwhelming majorities of Emaswati who have heard of climate change say that “a lot more” action to fight this threat is needed from the government, developed countries, business and industry, and ordinary citizens, a new Afrobarometer survey shows. 

Among citizens who are aware of climate change, a growing majority say it is making life in the country worse. Most say that ordinary citizens can help curb climate change but also want the government to take immediate action, even if it is expensive. 

However, almost half of Emaswati are still unfamiliar with the concept of climate change.  Awareness of the threat is particularly low among rural residents, less educated citizens, the elderly, and the poor.