>@ Cristian Negroni /Getty Images
© Cristian Negroni /Getty Images

The first part of the 2021-2022 EIB Climate Survey explores people’s views on climate change in a rapidly changing world. The results from this release focus on citizens’ perceptions of climate change and the actions they expect their country to take to combat it. 

  • 74% of Czechs think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century
  • 66% believe that they are more concerned about the climate emergency than their government
  • 67% feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives
  • 54% think the country will fail in drastically reducing its carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged in the Paris Agreement
  • 59% are in favour of stricter government measures that impose changes on people’s behaviour
  • 66% would welcome a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming
  • 85% say they want to replace short-distance flights by fast, low-polluting trains in collaboration with neighbouring countries

74% of Czech people think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century. While this figure is always high, it differs across different demographic categories: from 69% for Czech men to 78% for Czech women, from 82% for 15-29 year-old respondents to 67% for respondents older than 65, and from 77% for low-income earners to 71% for high-income earners.

The vast majority of Czech people (67%) feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives (below the European average of 77%).

These are some of the results from the first release of the 2021-2022 Climate Survey published on 27 October by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

Perception of the climate crisis: The country’s fight against climate change

The vast majority of Czech people (67%) feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives. While this is particularly marked among 15-29 year-olds (71%), this figure drops 11 points (60%) for people older than 64. Income levels have little impact on respondents’ answers: 65% of high-income earners and 70% of low-income earners say that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives.

66% believe that they are more concerned about the climate emergency than their government. Therefore, they are fairly sceptical regarding their country’s capability to undergo an ambitious green transition. Only 46% think that the Czech Republic will succeed in drastically reducing its carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged in the Paris Agreement. The majority (54%) think that the Czech Republic will fail to meet its reduced carbon emission targets.

As a consequence, 59% of Czech people are in favour of stricter government measures — similar to the ones implemented to combat the COVID-19 crisis — that would impose changes on people’s behaviour.

Meanwhile, only 12% of Czech people believe that global warming is not due to human activities.

The energy debate

When asked about the source of energy their country should rely on to fight global warming, almost half of Czech people favour renewable energies (45%) to address the climate emergency. This sentiment is shared even more by Europeans as a whole (63%). Support for renewables in the Czech Republic is seen strongly among people younger than 30 (53% in favour). This figure drops 19 points for people over 64 (34%). Here again, income levels have little impact on respondents’ answers: 45% of lower-income earners would support further development of renewable energies, compared to 48% of higher-income earners.

Czech people overall are much more supportive of nuclear energy than other Europeans (26% vs. 12%). In the Czech Republic, people older than 64 (32%) are much more in favour of nuclear energy than people younger than 30 (14%). The gender gap is also evident: men (36%) are much more in favour of nuclear energy than women (16%).

Finally, Czech people are slightly more likely to think that their country should rely on energy savings than other Europeans (20% vs. 17%). Czech respondents over 64 are particularly in favour of this option (30%). This is 15 points higher than for respondents younger than 29 (only 15% in favour of saving energy as a priority). Saving energy is ranked far above an increased role for natural gas (6%). The gender gap in energy savings is also noticeable: women (27%) are much more inclined to support energy savings than men (12%).

Most popular solutions to fight climate change among Czech people

The majority of Czechs (66%) would support — though to a slightly lesser extent than Europeans in general (69%) — the introduction of a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming. Even among respondents with lower incomes, 64% would be in favour of such a tax. Czech people are also in favour of a 5-year minimum warranty on any electric or electronic product (91%) and replacing short-distance flights with fast, low-emission trains (85%). They also favour softer measures like strengthening education and increasing youth awareness of sustainable consumption (89%).

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said: “The EIB Climate Survey showed that Czech people strongly support the introduction of new measures and climate tools, such as cleaner energy sources, to fight climate change and protect their country from its devastating effects. The fact that Czech people are well aware of the dangers posed by rising global temperatures and ready to support immediate decisive action is a good sign, showing that we can achieve our climate ambitions faster. The EIB is ready to support a just transition in the Czech Republic and contribute as much as possible towards building a carbon-neutral, green and sustainable world economy — the key to limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 °C or less. As the EU climate bank, we will focus on clean energy, energy savings, sustainable mobility solutions and innovation projects to make sure we succeed in this task. The strong support for this course of action in the Czech Republic augurs well for the success of our global fight against further climate change, the biggest existential threat to humanity today.”

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Download the Excel spreadsheet with the raw data for all 30 countries surveyed here. Please click here to access the EIB website that presents key findings of the EIB Climate Survey IV.

About the EIB Climate Survey

The European Investment Bank has launched the fourth edition of the EIB Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with market research firm BVA, the fourth edition of the EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 30 000 respondents participated in the survey between 26 August and 22 September 2021, with a representative panel for each of the 30 countries polled.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is one of the world’s largest multilateral lenders for climate action projects. The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations have also been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.

About BVA

BVA is an opinion research and consulting firm recognised as one of the most innovative market research firms in its sector. Specialised in behavioural marketing, BVA combines data science and social science to make data inspiring and bring it to life. BVA is also a member of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN), a global network of some of the world’s leading market research and survey players, with over 40 members.