• 31% of Europeans think citizens should take the lead in the fight against climate change, while only 23% of them would give that role to international institutions and 21% to their national governments
  • 66% of Europeans pledge to recycle and sort waste in 2019 vs 60% in the USA and 52% in China
  • Recycling and sorting waste is the most popular climate-friendly action for 2019 with pledges ranging from 52% to 82% within the EU28

Ahead of the global climate conference COP24, which took place in Poland on 3-14 December 2018, the European Investment Bank launched a first-of-its-kind climate survey, in partnership with the global public opinion company YouGov, to find out how 25 000 citizens feel towards climate change in the European Union, the United States and China. Today the EIB is presenting the findings of the third part of its survey.

The survey results reveal that, while 31% of Europeans consider that it is first and foremost the responsibility of citizens to lead the fight against climate change, for 40% of Chinese citizens and a quarter of Americans, international organisations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank, are the most accountable and should take the lead in this fight.

European citizens want to make a difference in the fight against climate change and believe their own individual contribution can matter as much as the actions undertaken by public bodies. The EIB Climate Survey’s results echo the recent Climate Walks held in various European cities, which demonstrated a significant mobilisation of citizens to act.

The survey also revealed that Europeans are the most inclined to start or continue sorting or recycling their waste, with 66% of respondents pledging to do so in the next 12 months, against 60% in the USA and 52% in China.

When comparing different climate-friendly actions within the EU, recycling and sorting waste is by far the most popular (66%), followed by reducing waste (48%) and buying local or seasonal food (47%). The least popular action is reducing plane travel, with only 11% of Europeans inclined to do so.

Emma Navarro (EIB Vice President, Responsible for Climate and Environment finance) reacted to the EIB Climate Survey findings: “The Survey clearly highlights that citizens feel empowered in the fight against climate change and are ready to commit to concrete actions in 2019.  Europeans in particular are very clear about the future they want. This very positive trend is great news while climate change remains an ever more pressing challenge. The synergies between what a public institution like the EIB can provide in terms of climate-friendly facilities (waste recycling infrastructure, public transports, green energies, etc.) and citizens’ commitment to adopt a more climate-friendly way of living are huge. In 2019, the EIB is more than ever committed to keep the momentum on climate and nurture its nexus with citizens.”

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is committed to serve as one of the largest sources of finance worldwide to fight climate change: the EIB has invested over EUR 130bn globally, supporting the delivery of over EUR 600bn in climate action investment since 2011 – roughly the equivalent of the Polish GDP.

Key charts

Accountability for climate action – who should take the lead?

European focus on the responsibility of citizens to act on climate change

Waste sorting and recycling – Europe shows the way

Europeans are the most inclined to recycle or sort their waste

Recycling and sorting waste in 2019 within the EU – strong levels of commitment

Recycling and sorting waste in 2019 within the EU – strong levels of commitment

Top 3 climate actions in the EU for 2019

Top 3 climate actions that Europeans want to start or continue in 2019

Country-specific findings

The resources below compile results in local languages on climate-related good resolutions in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Poland and Sweden.

Third survey:

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond. The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries. It is the world’s largest multilateral financier of climate-related investment with USD 100 billion committed for climate action in the five years up to 2020 in support of the Paris Agreement. The EIB has committed at least 25% of its investments to climate change mitigation and adaptation, rising to 35% in developing countries by 2020. With EUR 19.4 billion dedicated to climate action in 2017, the EIB exceeded its target for the eighth year running.

About the EIB citizens climate survey

The European Investment Bank partnered with global public opinion and data company YouGov to conduct a thorough assessment of citizens’ sentiments towards climate change. The survey aims to inform the broader debate on climate change and understand citizens’ attitudes and expectations in terms of climate actions. There will be six releases of the EIB Climate Survey’s data in 2018 and 2019, with each series of data corresponding to a specific theme and area of focus. 25 000 respondents participated in the survey, with a representative panel for each country.

EIB citizens climate survey: http://www.eib.org/surveys/index

About YouGov

YouGov is an international data and analytics group. Its core offering of opinion data is derived from its highly participative panel of 6 million people worldwide. YouGov combines this continuous stream of data with its deep research expertise and broad industry experience in a systematic research and marketing platform.

Contact: Thomas Froimovici: t.froimovici@eib.org, Tel: +352 691 284 262