Capping individual consumption
A majority of German respondents (56%) 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.). French participants share this opinion in nearly the same measure (57%), while only 44% of Dutch participants would be in favour. In contrast, 64% of Italian respondents say they would welcome such a system.
It is noteworthy that a majority of Germans favour this measure regardless of income (57% of lower-income, 58% of middle-income, and over 56% of higher-income respondents). People under 30 (67%) are more in favour of introducing a carbon budget system than their elders, with 53% of respondents over 30 in favour of 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, 80% of Germans are in favour of labelling all food products with their climate footprint. This is close to the rate in France (82%), but 13 percentage points above the rate in the Netherlands (67%).
In addition, 61% of Germans say they would be willing to pay slightly more for food that is produced locally and more sustainably (a similar level to French people, with 60%, but 9 percentage points more than Dutch people, with 52%). A majority of respondents, irrespective of income, voice this willingness to pay more for food (ranging from 54% of lower-income, 58% of middle-income, to 67% of higher-income respondents).
Reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products would be another efficient way to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Just under half of Germans (49%) would be in favour of limiting the amount of meat and dairy products that people can buy to fight climate change (19 percentage points less than Italians, with 68%, but slightly more than Dutch people, with 45%).
While this figure spans all the different income groups, there is a clear generation gap, with 67% of people under 30 in favour of capping individual consumption of meat and dairy products, as opposed to only 45% of those over 30.
In the words of EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, “The outcome of the EIB Climate Survey shows that Germans are willing to help fight climate change at the individual level. As the EU climate bank, we welcome this commitment. It complements our role of financing green services such as sustainable transport, renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings. In 2022, we supported green projects in Germany with investments amounting to €3.98 billion, many of which helped create new jobs. We will continue to support the acceleration of the green transition, one in which everyone can play their part and where no one is left behind.”
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 European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. 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 new specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnerships 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 around the world.
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.