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.
- 70% of Swedes under 30 say the climate impact of prospective employers is an important factor when job hunting, and 13% say it is even a top priority.
- 64% of Swedes are in favour of stricter government measures to impose a change in personal behaviour (72% of people under 30).
- 60% of Swedes say they would pay more for climate-friendly food.
- 72% of Swedish respondents are in favour of labelling all food to help limit the impact on climate and the environment.
- Only 45% would be in favour of a carbon budget system to set a cap on the most climate-damaging consumption.
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 dramatically increased concerns about declining purchasing power in Sweden. However, climate change remains the country’s second biggest challenge, according to Swedish respondents. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%, or 8 percentage points below the EU average) say they are convinced that their own behaviour can make a difference in addressing the climate emergency.
For many, the government has a role to play in encouraging individual behavioural change. 64% of Swedes are in favour of stricter government measures imposing a change in people’s behaviour to tackle climate change, and 72% of respondents under 30 would welcome such measures.
A growing number of people entering the workforce each year are looking at employers’ climate credentials when job hunting. Half of Swedish respondents (50%) say it is important that prospective employers prioritise sustainability. This majority holds across the political spectrum and at all income levels. Of people under 30 — typically those looking for their first or second job — more than two-thirds (70%) say that sustainability is an important factor in their choice of employer, and 13% say it is a top priority.
Capping individual consumption
Less than half of Swedish respondents (45%) 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 Danish respondents share this opinion (47%), while only 40% of Finnish participants would be in favour. In contrast, 56% of German respondents say they would welcome such a system.
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, 72% of Swedes are in favour of labelling all food products with their climate footprint. This is identical to the rate in Denmark (72%), but 10 percentage points above the rate in Finland (62%).
In addition, 60% of Swedes say they would be willing to pay slightly more for food that is produced locally and more sustainably (slightly above Finns, with 55%, and Danes, with 53%). This willingness to pay more for food spans all income groups (ranging from 57% of lower-income respondents to 63% of higher-income respondents).
Reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products would be another efficient way to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Yet just under half of Swedish respondents (47%) would be in favour of limiting the amount of meat and dairy products that people can buy (13 percentage points more than Finns, with 34%, but only slightly more than Danes, with 44%).
In the words of EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, “The outcome of the EIB Climate Survey shows that Swedes are more than willing to help fight climate change at the individual level. As the EU climate bank, we welcome this commitment. It is our role to enable people to take action against the climate crisis. We do this by financing green services such as sustainable transport, renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings. In 2022, we supported green projects in Sweden with €770 million. We will continue to support projects and initiatives that accelerate the green transition and are looking for innovative ways to contribute to a prosperous future that leaves no one 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.