Almost two-thirds of people believe climate change is a global emergency, UN poll finds

Land recently burned and deforested by cattle farmers stands empty near Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil, on August 16, 2020.

(CNN)Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that climate change is a "global emergency," according to a survey of 1.2 million people in dozens of countries around the globe -- and many want urgent action to tackle the problem.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which ran the poll with Oxford University, described it as the largest survey of public opinion on climate change ever conducted. Unusually, it captured the views of more than half a million people under the age of 18, a key but typically hard-to-reach constituency, the organization said.
The "Peoples' Climate Vote" was undertaken late last year in 50 high, middle and low income countries that together account for more than half of the world's population over the age of 14, according to the UNDP report.
    Across those countries, 64% of people said climate change was an emergency, "presenting a clear and convincing call for decision-makers to step up on ambition," the report said.
      "Of the people that said climate change is a global emergency, 59% said that the world should do everything necessary and urgently in response," it added. A further 20% backed acting slowly, while 10% thought the world was already doing enough.
      While younger people showed the greatest concern over climate change, with 69% of those aged 14-17 saying there is a climate emergency, around two-thirds of those aged 18 to 59 and 58% of those aged 60 and over agreed. This illustrates "how widely held this view has become," the UNDP said.
      Its polling also indicated that majorities backed climate action even when it would have a significant impact on their own country, at a time when much of the world is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

      'Broad support' for action

      Respondents were asked where they would most like to see action, with questions on support for 18 policy options across six areas -- energy, economy, transportation, farms and food, protecting people, and nature.
      Four climate policies emerged as the most popular globally, with 54% of those surveye