European citizens are becoming increasingly concerned with climate change, and further believe that taking action to tackle climate change would be good for jobs and the economy, according to a new survey.
The latest Eurobarometer survey conducted by the European Commission in March focused on peoples’ opinions and concerns regarding climate change and found that 92% of European Union citizens consider climate change to be a serious problem, including 74% who consider it a “very serious” problem.” Concern for climate change is not new in Europe and those who considered it a very serious problem as detailed in the last Eurobarometer focused on climate change in 2015 was 69%.
An impressive 89% of Europeans believe that it is important for their specific national government to set targets to increase renewable energy use by 2030, and 88% believe their governments should provide support for improving energy efficiency levels by 2030. Further, 79% agree that more public financial support should be provided to transition to clean energies, even if this means reducing fossil fuel subsidies.
“This opinion poll shows that our ambitious climate and energy policy agenda has the most important backing of all: that of our citizens,” explained European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. “It also shows that a clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians to address the serious climate challenge now as an essential tool for sustainable economic growth and creating jobs. And it is also encouragement for us at the European Commission to continue fighting for ambitious climate action across Europe.”
Other key findings from the report found 43% of respondents to the survey believe that climate change is among the most serious problems currently facing the world — ranking climate change as the third most serious problem behind poverty, hunger, and lack of drinking water, and then international terrorism.
Maybe most importantly is the 79% of respondents who believe that fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently is able to boost the European Union economy and jobs, while 77% believe that promoting EU expertise in new clean technologies to third-world countries can benefit the EU economically. 65% also believe that reducing fossil fuel imports into the EU can bring economic benefits.