1st EIB climate survey 6/6

Citizens’ opinions on the EU’s role in the fight against climate change

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 analysis and visualisations of the key findings from the sixth and final release of this worldwide EIB climate survey.

You can download the full results data set here.

Perceived support from the EU in the fight against climate change – differences of opinion

The survey results reveal that, across the EU, European citizens feel different levels of support from the EU in their climate-friendly actions. The three EU member states who reported feeling the most support from the European Union are Lithuania (65%), Poland (64%) and Malta (50%). On the side of the spectrum, the three EU member states feeling the least supported by the EU in their climate-friendly actions are France (13%), Finland (12%) and Sweden (11%).

 

Top priority policies to combat climate change – a consensus across the EU, the USA and China

The survey results also reveal that EU, US and Chinese citizens agree on the top two priorities to fight climate change. When asked which decisions respondents would take to fight climate change if they became head of their country’s government, stopping deforestation by 2025 and pushing for 100% of the electricity production to stem from renewable energies by 2050 were chosen across the three regions as the top priorities to implement.

Free public transport services by 2020 was chosen as the third most important priority by both European and Chinese respondents (27% for the EU and 28% for China), but only as the ninth most important priority by US respondents (14%). The third most important priority for 24% of US respondents focuses on the prohibition of plastic shopping bags by 2020.

 

Find out more about attitudes towards climate change in the following countries

Germans acknowledge the EU’s leadership in fighting climate change, but call for more efforts

The Survey reveals that Germans see the European Union, alongside local governments, as the most relevant public entities in the fight against climate change. 21% of German respondents reported feeling supported by the EU in their climate-friendly actions and behaviour. The same figure applies to the perceived support from local governments. The national government, however, scores 3 percentage points lower on this aspect (18%).

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of EU measures to combat climate change, the survey results also highlight a generational gap, with the younger generation having a more positive assessment than their elders: 35% of the population aged 18-34 find that the measures implemented by the EU are effective, but only 21% of Germans aged 55+ agree.

French citizens are sceptical about the EU's leadership in fighting climate change and call for more efforts

The Survey reveals that French citizens see their local governments as the most relevant public entities in the fight against climate change, more impactful than the European Union and the national government. 19% of French respondents reported feeling supported by local governments in their climate-friendly actions and behaviour. This figure is 6 percentage points higher than the perceived support both from the European Union (13%) and from the national government (13%). This sentiment towards the European Union in France is 14 percentage points below the general perception across Europe, with 27% of Europeans feeling supported by the EU in their efforts to fight climate change.

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of EU measures to combat climate change, the survey results also highlight a generational gap, with the younger generation having a more positive assessment than their elders: 24% of the population aged 18-34 find that the measures implemented by the EU are effective, but only 10% of French citizens aged 55+ agree.

Spaniards acknowledge the EU’s leadership in fighting climate change, but call for more efforts

The Survey reveals that Spaniards see the European Union as the most relevant public entity in the fight against climate change. 26% of Spanish respondents reported feeling supported by the EU in their climate-friendly actions and behaviour. This figure is 10 percentage points higher than the perceived support from the national government (16%) and 3 percentage points higher than the perceived support from local governments (23%).

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of EU measures to combat climate change, the survey results also highlight a generational gap, with the younger generation having a more positive assessment than their elders: 29% of the population aged 18-34 find that the measures implemented by the EU are effective, but only 16% of Spaniards aged 55+ agree.

Swedes rely more on their national government than on the EU to fight climate change and call for more efforts

The Survey reveals that Swedes see global organisations and their national government as the most relevant public entities in the fight against climate change, slightly more impactful than local governments and the European Union. 34% of respondents perceive global organisations as effective in their climate action measures, while 31% consider their national government’s policies as effective. Similarly, 31% of Swedes deem local governments to be effective in the fight against climate change, slightly above the European Union (29%).

The survey results also highlight a generational gap, with the younger generation having a more positive assessment than their elders on the effectiveness of public institutions’ measures in the fight against climate change: 36% of the population aged 18-34 find that the measures implemented by the EU are effective, but only 22% of Swedes aged 55+ agree.

Italian citizens are sceptical about the EU’s leadership in fighting climate change and call for more efforts

The Survey reveals that Italians see local governments as the most relevant public entities in the fight against climate change. 21% of Italians respondents reported feeling supported by their local governments in their climate-friendly actions and behaviour. This figure is 3 percentage points higher than the perceived support from the European Union and 11 percentage points higher than the perceived support from the national government (10%).

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of EU measures to combat climate change, the survey results also highlight a generational gap, with the younger generation having a more positive assessment than their elders: 36% of the population aged 18-34 find that the measures implemented by the EU are effective, but only 21% of Italians aged 55+ agree.

Poles acknowledge the EU’s leadership in fighting climate change, but call for more efforts

The Survey reveals that Poles see the European Union as the most relevant public entity in the fight against climate change. 64% of Polish respondents reported feeling supported by the EU in their climate-friendly actions and behaviour. This figure is 29 percentage points higher than the perceived support from the national government (35%) and 23 percentage points higher than the perceived support from local governments (41%).

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of EU measures to combat climate change, the survey results also highlight a generational gap, with the younger generation having a more positive assessment than their elders: 48% of the population aged 18-34 find that the measures implemented by the EU are effective, but only 37% of Poles aged 55+ agree.