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The fight against climate change requires collective action — from governments, institutions, businesses and individuals. A good understanding of the climate challenge is essential for people to make informed choices. To assess the public’s understanding of climate change in the Czech Republic, the sixth edition of the EIB Climate Survey focuses on people’s knowledge of climate change in three key areas: definitions and causes, consequences, and solutions. Participants answered 12 questions and were ranked on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest level of knowledge. With over 30 000 respondents across 35 countries, including the EU Member States, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Japan, India and Canada, the EIB Climate Survey provides valuable insights into people’s overall understanding of climate change.

Key findings

  • Generational gap: Respondents over 30 know more than 20- to 29-year-olds when it comes to the causes and consequences of climate change and solutions to address it, scoring 6.54/10 overall compared to 5.49/10 for 20- to 29-year-olds.
  • Meanwhile, the overall sample of respondents in the Czech Republic scored 6.12/10 on average, placing them slightly below the EU average of 6.37/10, according to the EIB survey. Finland leads the scoreboard with 7.22/10, followed by Luxembourg (7.19/10) and Sweden (6.96/10). The Czech Republic ranks immediately after Slovakia and ahead of Bulgaria in a knowledge test on the causes and consequences of climate change and solutions to address it.
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  • Overall knowledge gaps: Czechs are aware of the causes and consequences of climate change but there is room for improvement in their knowledge about solutions. Similarly to the findings in most EU countries, a large share of Czech respondents did not know that reducing speed limits on roads (85%) or better insulating buildings (68%) can help combat climate change.

Generational gap 

Knowledge about climate change varies depending on different aspects of people’s sociodemographic profiles. One of the most notable correlations is with age. Respondents over 30 in the Czech Republic scored higher than those aged 20-29 (overall score of 6.54 compared to 5.49, respectively). In some areas, this generational gap in knowledge is significant.

  • There is a noticeable generational gap in people’s understanding of the definition and causes of climate change (6.11 for people over 30 compared to 5.25 for people aged 20-29).
  • This gap is particularly significant on the second sub-index about the consequences of climate change (6.71 for people over 30 compared to 4.93 for people aged 20-29).
  • The difference in scores is smaller when it comes to what can be done to fight climate change (4.70 for people over 30 compared to 4.48 for people aged 20-29).


How well do people understand the causes of climate change?

The first sub-index focuses on the definition and causes of climate change. In this area, Czechs scored well, although slightly below the EU average (7.00/10 compared to 7.21/10).

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  • When it came to defining climate change, more than two-thirds (68%) selected the correct definition (“A long-term shift in global climate patterns”), while only 8% believe that climate change is a hoax. 
  • Similarly, 69% of people know that the main causes of climate change are human activities such as deforestation, agriculture, industry and transport.
  • Meanwhile, nearly a third of the respondents got it wrong (21% thinking climate change is caused by extreme natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions and heatwaves, and 9% believing the cause to be the ozone hole).
  • When asked about the three biggest greenhouse gas emitters worldwide, most Czechs (74%) correctly selected the United States, China and India.

How aware are people of the consequences of climate change?

When asked about the consequences of climate change, Czechs scored 6.95/10, well below the EU average (7.65/10).

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  • 78% know that it has a negative impact on human health (for example, it can lead to an increase in air pollutants such as ground-level ozone and particulate matter).
  • 74% also correctly said that climate change is worsening world hunger by affecting crop yields due to extreme weather.
  • Regarding the impact of climate change on sea levels, 63% of Czechs correctly said that the global sea level is rising, but more than a third (37%) got it wrong: more specifically, 18% of respondents said that it is falling and 19% said that climate change has no specific impact on the sea level.
  • The impact of climate change on migration, with increased forced displacement worldwide, is clear for a majority (62%) of Czech respondents.

Knowledge of how to combat climate change varies

In the last sub-index, Czech respondents scored 4.42/10, above the EU average of 4.25/10 but still indicating significantly less knowledge of actions that can help mitigate climate change compared to the other two areas investigated. This highlights a general trend across EU countries, with most of them receiving low scores in this area.

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  •  Most Czechs (69%) know that using recyclable products can help mitigate climate change.
  •  58% (but 7 percentage points below the EU average) also correctly said that using public transport instead of an individual car is a step in the right direction.
  • But only a third of respondents (32%, 12 percentage points below the EU average) are aware that better insulating buildings can help.
  • For now, only a third of respondents (34%, 8 percentage points below the EU average) are aware that buying new clothes less frequently is a way to fight climate change.
  • Very few respondents (15%, albeit 11 percentage points above the EU average) seem to know that reducing the speed limit on roads would help.
  • Finally, most Czechs are unaware of the significant impact that digital activities have on climate change, with only 6% saying that watching fewer videos online can contribute to fighting the climate emergency.
  • Unlike most countries in Europe, a majority of Czechs (52%) were able to correctly define an individual’s carbon footprint as “the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by a person in a year.”

The EIB invests in key public, corporate and private sector projects in the Czech Republic that support the country's green transition. This year, the EIB provided a CZK 1.3 billion loan to BVK (Brněnské vodárny a kanalizace), the municipal water and sewerage company of the Czech city of Brno, which is an example of an operation that significantly contributes to the green transition by complying with ESG standards. It follows another project with the City of Brno to support sustainable biomass heating in 2023, with a EUR 75 million loan to co-finance the modernisation of the heat generation and distribution system. Last year, the EIB also continued its support for the Czech Republic with a CZK 24 billion green loan for railway modernisation. This year we have signed another loan agreement for CZK 13 billion to upgrade the country's railway network, unlocking the second part of the planned EIB support totalling CZK 48.8 billion. The funds will improve TEN-T railway lines in the Czech Republic and enable the deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). The project will be managed by Správa železnic, s.o., the national railway infrastructure manager under the authority of the Czech Ministry of Transport. The project is also part of the EIB's contribution to the REPowerEU plan to reduce Europe's dependence on fossil fuels. 
EIB Group financing in the Czech Republic last year totalled EUR 1.88 billion, of which EUR 188 million was provided by the EIF. This brings the EIB Group's total financing in the Czech Republic over the past three decades to EUR 29.4 billion.

EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris: “Climate change can only be limited if we work together. It is important to identify and address the knowledge gaps found in the EIB Climate Survey. At the EIB, we provide financing to fight climate change, but we also recognise our role in contributing to the debate and education around the issue. Education is a powerful tool for change. We are committed to complementing our financing with initiatives that promote climate awareness and knowledge. This is how we build a sustainable future that leaves no one behind.”

Background information

Data and methodology

The survey methodology, questionnaire and full dataset can be downloaded here.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It is active in more than 160 countries and makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. You can find more information about the EIB and climate education here.

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