Climate Change

Europeans are now more worried about immigration than climate change – survey

Democracy Perception Index 2024 climate change europe survey

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May 10, 2024

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Published:

May 10, 2024

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Europeans are more concerned about immigration than climate change, while less than 15% of those interviewed worldwide think climate issues should be among the top three priorities for their governments, according to a study by the Danish think tank Alliance of Democracies Foundation.

Over the past two years, many European countries have seen a sharp rise in the share of people who say that reducing immigration should be a top government priority. At the same time, the desire to prioritize “fighting climate change” has decreased in the same countries, the Democracy Perception Index 2024 showed.

The think tank claims it is the world’s largest annual study on how people perceive democracy.

Nowhere is this reversal more striking than in Germany, which now has the world’s highest share of people who want their government to focus on reducing immigration (44%) – topping all other priorities, the index finds. The gauge is now nearly twice as high as the segment prioritizing the fight against climate change (24%).

Democracy Perception Index 2024 climate change priorities

Despite 33% of respondents in the world saying that climate change is one of the world’s top three biggest challenges, only 14% of people believe fighting climate change should be among the top three priorities for their government.

People in Western democracies, particularly in Europe, are the most likely to both perceive climate change as a major global challenge and as a top priority for their government, the study reads.

Jaspers: If democratic countries are unable to solve challenges, support for democracy will suffer

The report is an overview of a study conducted by Latana and the Alliance of Democracies between February 20 and April 15.

According to Latana’s CEO Nico Jaspers, war and violent conflict are seen as the world’s biggest challenge, followed by poverty and climate change.

“It is encouraging to see that people’s belief in the idea of democracy is at an all-time high, but if democratic countries are unable to help solve the world’s challenges, then it will be only a matter of time until support for democracy will suffer,” he stressed.

The 2024 edition offers an unprecedented comparison of global attitudes towards democracy during a time of rising geopolitical tensions and violent conflicts. Results are based on nationally representative interviews with over 62,953 respondents from 53 countries.

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