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Abigail looks into climate change and family planning

“I did a survey of a sample of the Danish population, what people knew about climate change,” Abigail explains. “Risk perception was specifically what I looked at: what risk people associate with climate change. Overall, I found that there is quite a high risk associated with climate change among the people that I surveyed, although there were quite a few people that didn't fit the trends. It was difficult to draw conclusions from the data that I got because there wasn’t a huge amount of variation within it. But from what I did get, people had this high risk perception but weren't necessarily taking action, which I found surprising.”

“I did a lot of research before I did my survey and found that as people's trust in government increases, their risk perception tends to decrease, but in Denmark I actually found the opposite: that risk perception increased as trust in government increased, which was interesting. The most significant factor was the degree to which a person felt personally responsible for actions taken to mitigate and adapt climate change, so people with a very high level of risk perception did feel very personally responsible.”

What do you think people should do?
“I think any step that people take is good. Just do as much as you can! The most impactful things have to do with money, like where your pension is invested. But everything has an impact.”

Are you going to work with something like this in the future?
“I have actually applied to study geography at university. I want to do more physical geography but I'm very passionate about climate change, and I'd like to be able to pursue that at a larger scale. It's been interesting to get an appreciation of what the public thinks about climate change.”