Europeans in favor of climate action as a factor for job-creating economic recovery

Four out of five people in the European Union recognize that fighting climate change and using more […]

Four out of five people in the European Union recognize that fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and jobs, according to a special survey. Eurobarometer on climate change published today.

This figure is slightly higher than in the last survey, in 2011, where 78% of respondents expressed this opinion.

Several of the Member States that have suffered most in the context of the economic and financial crisis are among those where recognition of the economic benefits of climate action and energy efficiency is highest. In no Member State did less than 65% of respondents express their agreement.

The survey also revealed that seven out of ten citizens agree that reducing imports of fossil fuels from outside the EU can bring economic benefits.

The President of the European Commission declared: "There is no choice between good economic governance and climate protection: the fight against climate change from the perspective of profitability is a good economic policy".

“I am very pleased that European citizens recognize this as well. This survey sends a strong signal to EU leaders to commit to climate action aimed at sustainable economic recovery. It is also a powerful incentive for the Commission to continue to commit to ambitious climate measures in Europe”, added José Manuel Durão Barroso.

For your part, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said “the survey confirms that a large majority of Europeans expect politicians to immediately engage in combating climate change. Citizens understand that climate change did not disappear while their governments were busy resolving the economic crisis. It is not a question of choosing between growth and competitiveness, on the one hand, and the climate, on the other. It is necessary to face both sides».

"I hope that EU leaders understand this message and act accordingly at the European Council at the end of the month, where they will debate our climate and energy proposals for the 2030 horizon," concluded the Commissioner.


The main results of the survey are as follows:

· 80% of respondents agree that tackling climate change and using energy more efficiently can boost the economy and employment (31% fully agree and 49% tend to agree).
People are most likely to fully agree in Spain (52%), Sweden (50%), Malta (44%), Ireland and Cyprus (43%) and Greece (42%).
The lowest percentage of respondents who fully agree or tend to agree was 65% in Estonia.

· Nine out of ten Europeans consider climate change to be a serious problem. The vast majority — 69% — consider this to be a 'very serious' problem and 21% a 'very serious' problem.
Only 9% consider it not to be a serious problem.
On a scale of 1 (minimum) to 10 (maximum), the severity of climate change was 7,3. This value was 7,4 in 2011 and 7,1 in 2009.

· Climate change is considered one of the very serious problems facing the world, after poverty and the economic situation.
In 2011, climate change had been ranked second, after poverty, hunger and water scarcity, but ahead of the economy.
Today, half of European citizens consider climate change to be one of the four most serious problems.
Respondents in Sweden (39%), Denmark (30%) and Malta (30%) are the most likely to think that the climate is currently the most serious problem in the world.

· 70% of Europeans agree that reducing fossil fuel imports can bring economic benefits to the EU (26% fully agree and 44% tend to agree).
The respondents who most tend to agree entirely are Spaniards (45%), Austrians (40%), Cypriots (38%), Irish (37%), Portuguese (34%) and Maltese (34%).

· The vast majority of Europeans support actions at national level in favor of energy efficiency and renewable energy. 92% of respondents consider it important that their Governments provide support to boost energy efficiency by 2030; just over half (51%) even consider this support "very important".
In relation to renewable energies, 90% consider it important that their Government sets targets to increase the use of renewable energies by 2030; 49% consider it "very important".

· 50% of Europeans claim to have contributed in some way, in the last six months, to the fight against climate change, which represents a slight reduction compared to 2011 (53%).
However, when faced with a list of specific actions they may have taken, without specifying a timetable, the percentage rises to 89%, against 85% in 2011.
The most common actions mentioned are the reduction and recycling of waste (69%) and less use of disposable items (51%).