Indians Narrowly Prioritize Environment Over Economy

With an eye on World Environment Day, which happened this past Sunday, Gallup found that more Indians (45%) prioritize environmental protection over economic growth (35%).As might be expected, poorer Indian residents are more likely than other groups to emphasize the economy over environmental protection. 39% of those who say they are "finding it very difficult to get by" prioritize the economy, as opposed to only 29% who choose the environment. But while the two groups in the middle--those who say they are "getting by on current household income" and those "finding it difficult to get by"--largely prioritize the environment first, the group living most comfortably is split. Although they don't lean toward the economy like the poorest Indians, those who say they are "living comfortably on present household income" are evenly split between the economy and the environment, with 45% choosing each, and the remainder choosing 'neither' or 'don't know'.
More Indians (45%) say they are satisfied "with efforts to preserve the environment" than dissatisfied (38%). The poorest citizens are the most likely to say they are dissatisfied, at 45%, but also the most likely to say they 'don't know' or refuse an answer.
According to Gallup, India's environment is being pressured by a "burgeoning population, annual economic growth in the 8% to 9% range, and rising energy demands." But "India has been fighting land degradation and desertification and investing in green technology, including one of the world's largest green energy projects that will generate thousands of megawatts of solar and wind power."

The poll results suggest that a green movement has the potential to gain steam in India, especially when Indian residents' preferences for the environment are compared with recent American preferences for the economy.

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