According to the European Investment Bank’s survey on climate change for 2021-2022, the majority of EU citizens are skeptical about the ability of their countries to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 successfully. The EU citizens also demand more efforts from their governments to deal with climate change. Contrary to them, the citizens of China and the USA believe more in the success of their government, demonstrating at the same time more awareness about the same topic.
In the EIB’s survey participated citizens of 27 countries, members of the European Union, and the citizens of China and the USA. Only the citizens of China see climate change as the biggest challenge for humanity of the 21st century, while Europeans and Americans worry more about the COVID-19 pandemic.
EU citizens don’t think their countries can achieve carbon reduction targets
However, as the EIB research shows, many are questioning the feasibility of these goals. According to the survey, 58 percent of EU citizens and 55 of the UK believe that their countries will fail to reduce carbon emissions as pledged in the Paris Agreement drastically.
In comparison, most Chinese citizens (93 percent) a slight majority of Americans (51 percent) believe that their countries will meet the reduced carbon emissions targets by 2050.
In addition, 75 percent of the EU citizens believe that their governments are less worried because of climate change.
The problem of climate change is highly positioned amount 61 percent of citizens of China, while the citizens of Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria, and the Netherland follow. On the other side, the least concerned on the topic are the citizens of Latvia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia.
SEE citizens feel more climate change impact on their everyday lives than other EU citizens
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People in the West want stronger government action
Interestingly, the citizens in the West want more decisive government action to fight climate change, while respondents from China are stressing individual responsibility. Fifty-one percent of EU citizens say that it is challenging to solve the climate crisis because the governments are not active enough. Meanwhile, 41 percent of those surveyed in China say that the difficulty in solving the crisis comes from individuals not wanting to change their behaviours.
Therefore it’s not surprising that around the world, people are in favour of stricter measures that would impose changes on people’s behaviour — 70 per cent of EU citizens and 91 per cent of Chinese respondents would support such measures.
“Despite some generational and sociodemographic divides, a strong majority of people in all countries polled want stricter measures and tools, such as cleaner energy sources, to help them fight climate change. In the run-up to COP26, this strengthens our determination to increase our efforts and accelerate the ecological transition,” said Ambroise Fayolle, EIB vice-president.
Renewables and carbon tax are seen as top priorities
As a means of fighting climate change, the majority in the EU support renewable sources of energy (63 percent) while support for natural gas as a “bridge fuel” is low — only 6 percent of EU citizens support it. Nuclear power is supported by 12 percent of respondents from the EU and 15 per cent of Britons.
Many agree that the most sustainable choice is abstaining from energy use in general. In the EU, 17 percent say the priority should be energy savings.
Other measures that see support are imposing a warranty of five years on any electric or electronic products, a broadly supported idea with 91 of EU citizens in favour. Strengthening education and increasing children’s awareness of sustainable consumption is also seen as a priority by 92 per cent of EU citizens. A slightly smaller proportion (69 per cent) of respondents support a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming.
From the EIB Climate Survey results, it’s clear that the majority in the EU and the world are worried about climate change and are demanding more action to combat the problem.
Similar messages could be seen during a protest in Glasgow on November 5, the sixth day of the COP26 Summit. Tens of thousands of people, led by climate activist Greta Thunberg demanded more action and less talk from the world’s leaders.
— Stuart Gibson (@stuart_gibson) November 5, 2021