EIB climate survey 3/6

Citizens’ good resolutions for 2019

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.

Discover below some visualisations of the key findings from the third of six releases, starting the New Year with good resolutions.

You can download the results data set here.

Accountability for climate action – who should take the lead?

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.

Citizens in the EU want to make a difference and believe their own individual contribution can matter as much as the actions taken by public bodies. These results echo the recent Climate Walks held in various European cities, which demonstrated a significant mobilisation of citizens to act.

 

Waste sorting and recycling – Europe shows the way

The results also reveal that European citizens 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.

 

Within the EU, when comparing different climate-friendly actions, 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.

Find out more about citizens’ good resolutions for 2019 in the following countries

Germans – prepared to buy local, recycle and reduce waste

The survey reveals that 52% of Germans are willing to buy local and seasonal food in the next 12 months. This top one climate-friendly resolution is closely followed by a pledge to recycle and sort waste at 51.7%. Reducing the amount of waste produced (50.8%) completes the podium of the top three environmental actions in Germany for 2019.

Within the European Union, however, Germans come in last in the pledge to recycle and sort waste in 2019. As a comparison, 82% of their Maltese counterparts pledge to sort and recycle their own waste in the next 12 months.

The French – prepared to recycle, buy local and reduce waste

The survey reveals that 69% of French respondents are willing to recycle and sort their waste in the next 12 months. This is their top climate-friendly resolution. Buying more local and seasonal food comes in second at 53% and reducing the amount of waste produced, third, with 47% of respondents, completing the top three environmental actions in France for 2019.

Within the European Union, however, French citizens only reach 14th place, tied with Spain and Denmark in the pledge to recycle and sort waste in 2019.

Spaniards – prepared to recycle, reduce waste and use public transport

The survey reveals that 69% of Spaniards are willing to recycle and sort their waste in the next 12 months. This is their top climate-friendly resolution, followed by reducing the amount of waste produced at 44%. Using public transport more often (42%) completes the podium of the top three environmental actions in Spain for 2019.

Within the European Union, however, Spaniards only reach 14th place, tied with France and Denmark in the pledge to recycle and sort waste in 2019.

Swedes – prepared to recycle, buy local and reduce waste

The survey reveals that 67% of Swedes are willing to recycle and sort their waste in the next 12 months. This is their top climate-friendly resolution, followed by buying local and seasonal food at 48%. Reducing the amount of waste produced (41%) completes the podium of the top three environmental actions in Sweden for 2019.

Within the European Union, however, Swedes only reach 18th place, far behind the top three EU countries pledging to recycle and sort their waste in the next 12 months: Malta (82%), Cyprus (79%) and Croatia (78%).

Italians – prepared to recycle, buy local and reduce waste

The survey reveals that 71% of Italians are willing to recycle and sort their waste in the next 12 months. This is their top climate-friendly resolution. Buying more local and seasonal food comes in second at 47% and reducing the amount of waste produced, third, with 42% of respondents, completing the top three environmental actions in Italy for 2019.

Within the European Union, however, Italians only reach 9th place, tied with Greece, the Czech Republic and Ireland in the pledge to recycle and sort waste in 2019.

Poles – prepared to recycle, use less electricity and reduce waste

The survey reveals that 64% of Poles are willing to recycle and sort their waste in the next 12 months. This is their top climate-friendly resolution. Using less electricity comes in second at 46% and reducing the amount of waste produced, third, with 43% of respondents, completing the top three environmental actions in Poland for 2019.

Within the European Union, however, Poles only reach 20th place, tied with Bulgaria in the pledge to recycle and sort waste in 2019.