* China is world's biggest polluter, followed by U.S.
* Public anger over pollution has led to government action
* Chinese greens different from Western counterparts-study
By Anna Nicolaou
BRUSSELS, May 7 In China, the world's biggest
polluter, about 64 percent of people identify themselves as
environmentalists, more than double that of Europe and the
United States, a report published on Wednesday showed.
The survey by Dutch research agency Motivaction said in
China, where public anger has mounted over hazardous levels of
pollution in towns and cities, environmentalists had a greater
sense of urgency about action needed to tackle the problem than
Western counterparts, where the financial crisis has knocked
environmental policy down the political agenda.
Motivaction, which interviewed more than 48,000 consumers in
20 countries through online surveys, found Chinese greens tended
to be socially conservative, devoted to family and traditional
Asian values, and pro-business groups which believed strongly in
the role of technology to solve problems.
In contrast, it said, the United States and Europe have
developed a "cosmopolitan environmentalism", a movement
supported frequently by liberal, highly-educated and politically
The report said multinational companies needed to understand
Chinese environmentalists and how to harness their potential.
China, blamed for nearly a third of global carbon emissions,
is the world's biggest investor in green technology, which the
report said could give it a competitive advantage in future, and
was pressing ahead with investment in the sector.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised to tackle pollution in
March after an official Chinese report dubbed Beijing "barely
suitable" for living due to hazardous smog. China pledged to
spend $1.65 billion to combat air pollution and $330 billion on
Governments aim to agree a new United Nations pact to combat
climate change at a summit in late 2015. European
environmentalists have often accused China of stalling efforts
to agree a new global deal.
However, when faced with public anger at home, the Chinese
government has acted, including amending environmental
protection laws last month to impose tougher penalties on
"When the Chinese government decides to do something, they
do it. It's not the talking shop that we see in Europe," said
Kathryn Sheridan, CEO of a Brussels-based sustainability
(Editing by Barbara Lewis and Janet Lawrence)