According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, a huge majority (93 per cent) of Europeans believe climate change is a serious problem facing the world and over half think that the transition to a green economy should be sped up in the face of energy price spikes and concerns over gas supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
From an economic perspective, 73 per cent of Europeans agree that the cost of damage due to climate change is much higher than the investment needed for a green transition. And three-quarters (75 per cent) of Europeans agree that taking action on climate will lead to innovation.
“European citizens understand the threat of climate change and continue to support climate action by the EU, national governments, businesses and individuals,” said Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal. “They recognise the long-term risks posed by the climate and biodiversity crises but also the opportunity that we have to build a brighter, healthier and safer future if we act now on the green transition. The results of this survey are a powerful reminder that popular support to advance with the European Green Deal remains as high as ever. It is up to politicians and decision-makers to heed that call.”
Especially regarding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, almost nine in ten EU citizens (88 per cent) agree that it shold be brought to a minimum, while offsetting the remaining emissions to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050. Close to nine in ten Europeans (87 per cent) think it is important that the EU sets ambitious targets to increase renewable energy use and a similar number (85 per cent) believe that it is important for the EU to take action to improve energy efficiency, for example by encouraging people to insulate their home, install solar panels or buy electric cars.
Still, when it comes to citizens taking actions, those from Central and Eastern Europe are ranking very low, with Poland, Bulgaria and Romania closing the index. Indeed, more than half of EU citizens believe that national governments and the EU are responsbile to tackle climate change and 67 per cent of the respondents think that their government is not doing enough.
By answering the survey, it emerged that EU citizens are suggesting to accelerate the rollut of renewable energy; to take economic measures to limit the price of energy bills for households; to give direct financial support to the most vulnerable; to invest more in energy efficieny measures; and to diversify the supply of fossil fuel imports into the EU.