Climate Change

What lifestyle changes are people ready to make to help fight climate change?

climate survey eib

Photo: PlanetMallika from Pixabay


January 15, 2021






January 15, 2021





Americans, Chinese, and Europeans say it would be easier to give up flying to fight climate change than to stop eating meat, buying new clothes, owning a car, or using video streaming services. However, for Europeans and Americans giving up their car would be the hardest option, and for the Chinese, to stop eating meat.

These are the results of a survey conducted in 30 countries, which examines how people intend to combat climate change in 2021, what they are willing to give up to tackle the climate crisis, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their travel habits and intentions to fight climate change.

18% of Europeans say giving up Netflix, Youtube… would be the easiest option

40% for Europeans, 38% Americans, and 43% for Chinese respondents chose flights when asked what would be the easiest for them to get used to: giving up flying, meat, new clothes, video streaming services (Netflix, Youtube…), or a car in order to fight climate change. This figure is even higher in Poland (46%), the Czech Republic (48%), Hungary (48%), Slovakia (48%), and Croatia (51%).

18% of Europeans say giving up video streaming would be the easiest option, 16% say that giving up meat would be the easiest, 15% say that giving up new clothes would be the easiest option, while 11% say that giving up their car would be the easiest choice to make to fight climate change, according to the third edition of the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) Climate Survey.

eib climate survey behaviour

Overall, only 10% of Chinese people and 19% of Europeans say they are making radical lifestyle changes to fight climate change, compared with as many as 27% of Americans.


Giving up their car would be the hardest option for Europeans and Americans

However, 39% of Europeans and 38% of Americans say that giving up their car would be the most difficult option, followed by stopping eating meat (26%-26%), and giving up video streaming (15%-17%). People living in rural areas (51%) say that giving up their car would be the hardest choice, along with people in Italy (46%), Slovenia (46%), Malta (49%) and Luxembourg (52%).

People in China, however, find it hardest to stop eating meat (35%), and then to give up video streaming (22%) and owning a car (18%).

survey eu us china climate change flights

People are more afraid of COVID-19 than climate change

eib climate survey covid

Most respondents in China, the EU, and the US say that they are more concerned about catching COVID-19 than about climate change, according to the survey results.

However, respondents still believe their choices and actions can make a difference in tackling climate change: 72% of Europeans and Americans, and 84% of Chinese.

Compared to 2019, the number of people answering positively to this question increased everywhere.

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