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  • 73% believe that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences should accelerate the green transition.
  • 79% say that, if we do not drastically reduce our consumption of energy and goods in the coming years, we will be heading for a global catastrophe.
  • 69% are in favour of heavily taxing highly polluting goods and services, such as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and air transport.
  • 64% are in favour of indexing energy prices to the level of consumption per household: the more you consume, the more expensive energy becomes.

These are some of the results from the latest yearly climate survey, conducted in August 2022 and published today 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.

After a challenging year in which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an ongoing energy crisis and accelerated inflation all over Europe, and a summer marked by record heatwaves and droughts, Romanians have become even more acutely aware of the impact of climate change and the need for urgent action.

Climate change awareness and urgency

While COVID-19 was considered the biggest challenge facing Romanians last year, concerns about the financial crisis now predominate. 62% cite it as their top concern, compared with 45% across the rest of the European Union.

Meanwhile, 88% of Romanians say they are feeling the effects of climate change on their daily lives.

79% think that, if we do not drastically reduce our consumption of energy and goods in the coming years, we will be heading for a global catastrophe. At the same time, 89% feel that the government is reacting too slowly, and only 37% think that Romania will succeed in substantially reducing its carbon emissions by 2030.

War in Ukraine and green transition

Most Romanians (73%) believe that the war in Ukraine and its consequences for the price of oil and gas should accelerate the green transition (7 percentage points more than the European average of 66%).

>@Graphic workshop/EIB

When asked to rank their energy priorities, almost half of Romanians expect their government to prioritise the development of renewable energies (49%), before focusing on energy supply diversification to avoid being overly reliant on a single energy provider (37%).

Energy saving ranks low among the government’s priorities. Some Romanians believe that citizens and companies must do more to reduce their consumption, but less so than elsewhere in Europe (14% compared with the European average of 19%). This is more the case among the younger generation (23% among 15- to 29-year-olds).

Tackling climate change and addressing high energy prices

To reduce energy consumption, Romanians are in favour of heavily taxing highly polluting goods and services, such as SUVs and air transport (69%). They also support the indexing of energy prices to the level of consumption per household (64%): the more you consume, the more expensive energy becomes.

If Romanians were to lower the temperature in their homes this winter, only 12% of them would accept capping it at 19° C (16 points less than the European average of 28%). Meanwhile, 26% of Romanians say that they already cannot afford to heat their homes properly.

>@Graphic workshop/EIB

Finally, on addressing high energy prices, Romanians think that in the short term the government should cap or regulate the price of gas, oil and coal (39%), or reduce energy-related taxes (31%). Other measures are less popular, such as encouraging energy saving through public campaigns (17%).

The EIB’s Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen stated: “Ahead of the COP27 climate conference, the results of the EIB’s 2022 climate survey show that Romanians are highly conscious of the need to drastically reduce energy consumption, as it reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources, which in turn creates a healthier living environment for people. At the EIB, we have been supporting a thermal rehabilitation programme to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings in Bucharest sectors for many years, and we have recently approved a programme to extend this support to other municipalities across Romania. We stand ready to use our full range of advisory and financial instruments to support Romania in a just green energy transition that leaves no one behind.”

Background information

About the EIB Climate Survey

The EIB has launched the fifth edition of the EIB Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with the market research firm BVA, the fifth edition of the EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 28 000 respondents participated in the survey in August 2022, with a representative panel of people aged 15 and above for each of the 30 countries polled.

About the European Investment Bank

Since 2019, the EIB has accelerated its transformation into a climate bank by committing to devoting at least 50% of its funding from 2025 to investments that contribute to the fight against climate change and the mitigation of its effects.

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 the data to life. BVA is also a member of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research, a global network of some of the world’s leading market research and survey players, with over 40 members.