Barometer of Ecological Transformation: A global climate survey

Most Americans feel exposed and vulnerable to a deterioration in their quality of life due to worsening climate conditions, and they are ready to take action.
Global climate survey: Most Americans feel exposed and vulnerable to a deterioration in their quality of life due to worsening climate conditions, and demand action


A barometer measuring 26 countries on five continents

The Barometer researchers surveyed 26 countries on five continents covering a sample of more than half the human population. The countries were chosen for their demographic weight and their relevance: countries on the front lines of the effects of climate change, but also countries that are pioneers in ecological policies. 

The scope of this Barometer allows us to assess the global and local level of acceptability of existing ecological solutions and to discover the barriers and drivers that accompany the implementation of these solutions. It is an informative study that helps us to advance the debate and better understand how to achieve ecological transformation.


The previous Barometer of Ecological Transformation, conducted in 2022 and released in January 2023, showed a growing consensus toward green solutions for climate-related challenges. The latest barometer reveals a deepening level of concern and openness to solutions that may have once been regarded as too extreme. 

The survey gauged American public opinion about the impacts of climate change and shows that they are no longer an abstraction for a large percentage of Americans, but something that can be seen and felt on a regular basis. A large majority of Americans is ready to take measures to address the challenges of climate change that would have been unheard of a generation ago, including drinking recycled wastewater to adapt to ongoing water shortages. 

Worsening storms, unpredictable weather patterns, drought, flooding and other tangible signs of a changing climate are making Americans feel increasingly anxious and vulnerable, the survey shows. The Veolia survey findings are echoed in recent government reporting, including an Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in the 2023 report conducted by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, showing that almost 20% of adults in the U.S. were financially impacted by natural disasters last year, marking a nearly 50% rise from 2022. 

61% of Americans said they feel exposed and vulnerable to a deterioration in their quality of life due to worsening climate conditions

The first findings of the barometer


of Americans said they feel exposed and vulnerable to health risks due to worsening climate conditions


of Americans expressed willingness to drink recycled wastewater in order to adapt to severe water shortages


of Americans expressed willingness to eat food from agriculture that uses recycled waste for fertilizer


of Americans expressed willingness to pay more out of their own pocket to help cover costs for eliminating micropollutants in drinking water supplies


of Americans remain confident that the future of humanity is still in our hands, and that meaningful steps can still be taken to reverse and mitigate impacts.

From the latest survey results, we can see that the anxiety and concern that Americans feel about climate change and the dangers it poses to our health and well-being are only growing more pronounced. At the same time, we see that many Americans remain hopeful that it’s not too late to take steps to reverse these impacts and preserve the planet for our children and future generations – but we need to act. Global public opinion that includes America is also convinced that inaction will cost humanity more than the necessary investments to the ecological transition.

 - Fred Van Heems, President and CEO of Veolia North America



Concrete solutions exist

When it comes to conservation, Veolia is more than water. We have the expertise to help communities reduce waste and cut excessive energy use. Making the most of resources is how Veolia can make communities healthier, by removing pollution from the environment, rebuilding infrastructure to ensure efficiency and reusing water to protect a diminishing resource scientists say will only become more precious in upcoming years.

Accelerating your progress toward a lower carbon future. Wherever you are on your decarbonization journey, we’ll meet you there and help you go further and faster.
Transforming your municipal wastewater treatment facility into a modern and profitable hub of sustainability, circularity, green jobs, education and climate resilience.
Recycling your wastewater to irrigate crops, replenish underground aquifers and provide safe drinking water. Deploying cutting-edge technology to build and refurbish entire water systems, ensuring communities are non-polluting and storm-resistant.


Want to know more about the study and results of the Barometer of Ecological Transformation? 

Download the full 2024 edition below:

Download the Barometer of Ecological Transformation 2nd edition