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The second part of the 2022-2023 European Investment Bank (EIB) Climate Survey explores people’s views on climate change in a rapidly changing world. The results from this release focus on people’s individual behaviour and the actions they are taking to combat climate change. 

  • 76% of Poles aged 20-29 say the climate impact of prospective employers is an important factor when job hunting (16% say it is even a top priority).
  • 60% of Polish respondents would be in favour of a carbon budget system to set a cap on the most climate-damaging consumption (68% of people over 65).
  • 65% of Poles say they would pay more for climate-friendly food.
  • 78% of are in favour of labelling all food to help limit the impact on climate and the environment.
  • 66% are in favour of stricter government measures to impose a change in personal behaviour.

These are some of the results from the latest yearly EIB Climate Survey, conducted in August 2022 and published today. The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

Individual behaviour and stricter government measures

The war in Ukraine and its consequences, including rising energy prices and inflation, have increased concerns about declining purchasing power. However, half of Poles still rank climate change or environmental degradation among the three biggest challenges for Poland. Over three-quarters of respondents (79%, or 7 percentage points above the EU average) say they are convinced that their own behaviour can make a difference in addressing the climate emergency.

Women (82%) are more convinced than men (69%) that their individual behaviour can have an impact.

For many, the government has a role to play in encouraging individual behavioural change. Two-thirds of Poles (66%) are in favour of stricter government measures imposing a change in people’s behaviour to tackle climate change.

>@Graphic workshop/EIB

Jobseeker priorities

A growing number of people entering the workforce each year are looking at employers’ climate credentials when job hunting. Most Polish respondents (62%) say it is important that prospective employers prioritise sustainability. For 13%, it is even a top priority. This majority holds across the political spectrum and at all income levels. Of people aged 20 to 29 — typically those looking for their first job — more than two-thirds (76%) say that sustainability is an important factor in their choice of employer, and 16% say it is a top priority.

>@Graphic workshop/EIB

Capping individual consumption

Most Polish respondents (60%) say they would be in favour of a carbon budget system that would allocate each individual a fixed number of yearly credits to be spent on items with a big carbon footprint (non-essential goods, flights, meat, etc.). Nearly the same rate of German respondents share this opinion (56%), while only 40% of the Czechs would be in favour.

It is noteworthy that a majority of Poles favour this measure regardless of income (65% of lower-income, 63% of middle-income, and over 61% of higher-income respondents). Many more people over 65 (68%) are in favour of introducing a carbon budget system than younger people, with only 54% of respondents under 30 supporting such a measure.

Food labelling and pricing

Food production accounts for a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions. To help people make more sustainable choices when grocery shopping, 78% of Poles are in favour of labelling all food products with their climate footprint. This is close to the rate in Germany (80%), and 11 percentage points above the rate in the Czech Republic (67%).

In addition, 65% of Poles say they would be willing to pay slightly more for food that is produced locally and more sustainably (close to the rate for Germans, with 61%, and 8 percentage points above Czechs, with 57%). This willingness to pay more for food spans all income groups (ranging from 63% of lower-income respondents to 69% of higher-income respondents).

Reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products would be another efficient way to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Yet less than half of Poles (44%) would be in favour of limiting the amount of meat and dairy products that people can buy (5 percentage points less than Germans, with 49%, and 4 percentage points more than Czechs, with 40%). The lack of support for such a measure in Poland cuts across income and age groups.

In the words of EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, “The EIB Climate Survey testifies to the readiness of Polish people to engage in the fight against climate change at the individual level. As the EU climate bank, these results are encouraging for the success of global climate action. The EIB is ready to support this commitment by financing green services in Poland such as sustainable transport, renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings. In 2022, we supported similar green projects in the country with €2.35 billion. We will continue to support projects and initiatives that accelerate the green transition, and innovative ways to contribute to a prosperous future and a just transition to a more sustainable economy that leaves no one behind.”

Background information

About the EIB Climate Survey

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has now performed the fifth annual 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

The EIB Group has adopted a 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 been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance.  EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world

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.