BERLIN (Reuters) – Climate change is the top security concern in a poll conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, followed by Islamist terrorism and cyber attacks, while respondents in a growing number of countries are worried about the power and influence of the United States.
FILE PHOTO: Vapor is released into the sky at a refinery in Wilmington, California March 24, 2012. REUTERS / Bret Hartman
In 13 of 26 countries, climate change is listed as the top global threat with the Islamic The state militant group has topped the list in eight and cyber attacks in four, the non-profit, non-partisan Pew Research Center said in its report.
Worries about climate change have sharply increased since 2013, with double-digit percentage point increases seen in countries including the United States, Mexico, France, Britain, South Africa and Kenya, according to a poll of 27,612 people conducted between May and August, 2018.
North Korea's nuclear program and global economy were also significant concerns, while respondents in Poland called Russian power and influence as the top threat.
The largest shift in sentiment centered on the United States, it said, with a median of 45 percent of people naming the U.S. power and influence as a threat in 2018, up from 25 percent in 2013, when Barack Obama was US President.
In 10 countries, including Germany, Japan and South Korea, roughly half of respondents or more saw US power and influence as a major threat to their nation, up from eight in 2017 and three in 2013, the poll showed.
In Mexico, where these concerns have spiked since the election of the United States President Donald Trump, the percentage jumped to 64 percent, the poll showed.
Trump has railed against illegal migration and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and is pushing to build a wall between the two countries.
In 2018, the average of 61 percent of respondents across all countries saw cyber attacks as a serious concern, up from 54 percent in 2017.
The number of countries that saw Islamic State as a threat fell by double- digit percentage points in Israel, Spain, the United States and Japan.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Jason Neely