Do Brits have it all wrong about the true victims of climate change? Worryingly, it seems a significant proportion do.
A new survey commissioned by the charity Christian Aid shows a third of people across the country think white people around the world are the ethnic group most heavily impacted by climate change.
This is not the case – the most impacted regions by a significant margin are found in poorer countries in the southern hemisphere.
The poll shows twice as many adults think white people are the most climate-vulnerable ethnic group, compared to only 15% that said black people were most at risk.
The poll also included a sample of 500 black British Christians – 66% said they feel they know at least a fair amount about climate change, compared to only 49% of the British public, while 51% said they don’t think the climate movement is racially diverse enough, compared to 33% of the total group of respondents.
Chine McDonald, Christian Aid’s Head of Public Engagement, said: “Concern about climate change has understandably shot up the agenda in recent years but it’s shocking that the British public don’t realise that it is black and brown people around the world that are bearing the brunt of it.
“At its core, climate change is a story of racial inequality with the nations of the rich, largely White, global North creating a crisis which is causing suffering most acutely felt in the global South.
“Despite black and brown people being disproportionately affected by climate change around the world, the climate movement is often represented and led by white people.
“These findings challenge the perception that concerns around climate change are largely the preserve of white people.”