More than one-fourth of Russians remain skeptical of climate change despite the country being battered by intensifying natural disasters in recent years, according to a poll by the SuperJob job portal published Wednesday.
Superjob polled 1,600 “economically active” Russians aged 18 and older from Aug. 17-23, two weeks after United Nations climate scientists released a landmark report that “unequivocally” linked climate change to human activity. The poll was conducted as Russia grappled with unprecedented wildfires in Siberia that experts say were exacerbated by climate change.
Fifty-one percent of Russian respondents said they believe that climate change is real, a 2% increase from the last SuperJob survey in 2009.
But 26% of Russians do not believe that the climate crisis is real, compared to 33% in 2009.
“They most often explain their view from a ‘conspiracy theory’ position: ‘This is not global warming, but a global deceit of all mankind’,” Superjob said, “or ‘If it’s getting warmer, this warming isn’t necessarily caused by humans’.”
Another 23% of Russians said they aren’t sure whether they think climate change is real or not.
Younger adults in the 25-34 age group were most likely (55%) to describe the climate crisis as a real problem while those older than 45 were least likely (46%) to hold this view. The share of climate deniers remained roughly the same in each age group.
Men were more likely to say climate change isn’t real (30%) compared to 23% of women.
A UN People’s Climate Vote poll published in January said that 65% of Russians think the climate crisis is real. Unlike Superjob’s survey, the UN’s poll collected responses from people aged 14 and older.
Another poll, conducted in 2020 by the Russian state-run polling agency VTsIOM, said that 57% of adult Russians say they already feel the climate crisis’ impact on their daily lives.