Europeans fear climate change more than financial turmoil

Respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty

EU Climate ChangeThe Eurobarometer poll (pdf) suggests that the majority of the public in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem. Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty.

Connie Hedegaard, European climate commissioner, said: “This is encouraging news. The survey shows that the citizens of Europe can see that economic challenges are not the only ones we face. A clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians and business leaders to address the serious climate challenge now.” …

Rémi Gruet, regulatory adviser to the European Wind Energy Association, said: “Science and public opinion are pointing in the same direction: more action on climate change. The survey is a wake-up call to decision-makers who need to embrace the economic and competitive benefits of progress on energy efficiency and renewables. It would be a historic mistake to listen only to those who have vested interests in climate-damaging fossil technologies.”

More (Click here),, environment correspondent,, Friday 7 October 2011

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1 Response to Europeans fear climate change more than financial turmoil

  1. Alan Burke says:


    • Climate change remains a key concern for the European public, and a greater one than when the last special climate survey was conducted in 2009.

    • Just over half (51%) of respondents consider climate change one of the world’s most serious problems (and 20% feel it is the single most serious problem). Overall it is seen as the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water, and a more serious problem than the economic situation.

    • Altogether 89% see climate change as a serious problem, with 68% considering it a very serious problem (up from 64% in 2009). On a scale of 1 (least) to 10 (most), Europeans rank the seriousness of climate change at 7.4 (against 7.1 in 2009).

    • There is also a positive view of the economic benefits of tackling climate change – almost eight in ten (78%) respondents agree that it can boost the economy and create jobs, a big increase since 2009 (when 63% agreed). At least two-thirds of respondents in each Member State share this view.

    • Just over two-thirds (68%) support basing taxation to a greater extent on energy use, with a majority in favour of this in every Member State.

    • There is a widespread expectation that Europe will become a climate-friendly, low carbon economy by 2050:

    o 88% believe Europe will be using more renewable energy
    o 87% expect we will be more energy-efficient
    o 73% believe that cars will be powered more efficiently.

    • Tackling climate change is seen as the responsibility mainly of national governments, the EU and business. While only one in five respondents (21%) specifically state it is their own responsibility to tackle climate change, a further 23% say everyone (governments, industry and individuals) needs to share responsibility.

    • Just over half (53%) of EU citizens say they took some kind of action to combat climate change over the last six months; when prompted with specific actions, however, a higher proportion appear to be actively engaged.

    • Separating and recycling waste separation is the most common action undertaken, with 66% having done this. Buying fewer disposable items and purchasing local and seasonal produce come next.

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