Europeans remain concerned about climate change and they believe fighting it can boost economic growth in the EU. These are the main conclusions of a special Eurobarometer survey of public attitudes which was published today.
Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission, said: "The message of the European citizens is clear: the fight against climate change must remain a top priority of EU action. It confirms our belief that tackling climate change and overcoming the economic recession do not exclude each other."
Climate change is a very serious problem
63% of citizens consider climate change as a very serious problem and 24% a fairly serious problem. Only 10% consider it is not a serious problem and 3% do not know. 47% of respondents consider climate change to be one of the two most serious problems facing the world today. Only poverty scores higher, being placed in the top two by 69%. Most Europeans (62%) believe it is not unstoppable.
A large majority believes climate change can boost economic growth in the EU
According to the survey, almost two-thirds of citizens think that fighting climate change can have a positive impact on the European economy. In total, 63% of respondents say it is the case, compared to 56% in March-April 2008. 66% also agree that "the protection of the environment can boost economic growth in the European Union".
Call for more action
A majority of Europeans consider that industry, citizens themselves, national and local governments as well as EU are not doing enough to fight climate change. Only 19% think that corporations and industry are doing about the right amount to fight climate change against 30% in the case of the EU. Although those results indicate a positive evolution compared to March-April 2008, majorities from 55% to 72% think that not enough is done to fight climate change at these levels. 63% of Europeans confirm that they have taken some kind of action against climate change themselves against 31% who have not.
Agreement to pay more for greener energy
49% of citizens polled say they would be prepared to pay more for energy produced from sources that emit less greenhouse gases while 27% would not. 24% did not respond. Among those ready to pay more, half would not be prepared to pay more than 5% extra.
This special Eurobarometer survey was commissioned by the European Commission. The interviews were conducted in August-September 2009 among 26,719 citizens in the 27 EU Member States.
- Further information:
The full report is available at: