New Global Survey Assesses Adoption of and Barriers to Climate-Friendly Behaviors Across Countries

Data offers policymakers, media, NGOs, and others an unprecedented opportunity to compare consumer behaviors across countries

June 6, 2024

(New Haven, Connecticut) A new survey of Facebook users in 37 high income, high carbon-emitting countries and territories provides an unprecedented analysis of adoption rates and barriers to adoption of climate-friendly behaviors. The survey was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) in partnership with international conservation organization Rare, and Meta Data for Good.

Download the full survey here.

Household adoption of climate-friendly behaviors worldwide will be a critical component of the global effort to limit global warming. The latest IPCC report found that lifestyle and behavior change could reduce 40%-70% of global carbon emissions by 2050. In a June 5, 2024 speech, UN Secretary General António Guterres said, “We must all deal also with the demand side. All of us can make a difference, by embracing clean technologies, phasing down fossil fuels in our own lives, and using our power as citizens to push for systemic change.”

This study focused on six household behaviors that could have a large impact on global carbon emissions: reducing food waste, eating less meat, buying carbon offsets, installing a heat pump or solar panels, or owning or leasing an electric vehicle. Overall, lower-cost, daily behaviors (such as reducing food waste and meat consumption) were much more common than higher-cost, infrequent behaviors (such as converting to heat pumps and purchasing electric vehicles). Survey respondents were most likely to have tried to reduce food waste in the prior month and were least likely to have owned or leased an electric car or truck.

There were also large differences in adoption rates across countries. For example, adoption of heat pumps ranged from 45% in New Zealand to 3% in Israel and the United Kingdom. Other countries with relatively high adoption rates of heat pumps included Norway (38%), Finland (32%), and Sweden (27%).

The survey then asked respondents what barriers to adopting these behaviors they might have experienced. The primary barriers to lower-cost, daily behaviors were lack of awareness or having not thought of adopting the behavior. The primary barriers to higher-cost, infrequent behaviors were financial cost or a perceived lack of relevance. However, many of those respondents who had adopted a household behavior said they had encountered few barriers. But there were substantial differences in experienced barriers to adoption across countries. For example:

  • 71% of solar adopters in Spain had no difficulties compared to 34% of solar adopters in France
  • 77% of people in New Zealand had no difficulties reducing food waste compared to 47% in South Korea
  • 58% of Americans had no difficulties converting to a heat pump compared to 46% of Canadians

“Consumers worldwide will play an important role in the global effort to limit global warming,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. “Changing household behaviors, from our dietary choices to product decisions, can have a global impact.”

“This report offers critical data because we focused on behaviors that, if adopted widely, can meaningfully move the needle on emissions reduction,” said Dr. Erik Thulin of Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment. “By understanding the barriers preventing the widespread adoption of these key behaviors, policymakers and intervention designers in these countries can devise more tailored and effective strategies for helping consumers and constituents transition to low carbon lifestyles.”

The study, International Public Opinion on Climate Change: Household Climate Actions – Adoption and Barriers, 2023, investigated public adoption of, and barriers to, household behaviors that reduce personal carbon emissions in 37 countries and territories classified as “high-emissions” based on their per-capita carbon dioxide emissions and income.

This is the third report released by YPCCC, Rare, and Meta from the global survey, which was fielded August 3 to September 3, 2023. The initial report, International Public Opinion on Climate Change: 2023, was released in November 2023 and based on the full survey of 139,136 monthly respondents from 187 countries and territories. The second report was released in March 2024 and focused on extreme weather experience and vulnerabilities among respondents in 150 low-income, low-emitting countries and territories.


Media Contacts

Meta: Dina El-Kassaby Luce  –
Yale:  Lisa Fernandez ( or Michaela Hobbs (
Rare: Zach Lowe – (