A huge majority of Europeans believe climate change is a serious problem facing the world (93%), according to a new Eurobarometer survey. Over half think that the transition to a green economy should be speed up (58%) in the face of energy price spikes and concerns over gas supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From an economic perspective, 73% of Europeans agree that the cost of damage due to climate change is much higher than the investment needed for a green transition.
Almost nine in ten EU citizens (88%) agree that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced to a minimum, while offsetting the remaining emissions to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050. Close to nine in ten Europeans (87%) think it is important that the EU sets ambitious targets to increase renewable energy use, and a similar number (85%) believe that it is important for the EU to take action to improve energy efficiency, for example by encouraging people to insulate their home, install solar panels or buy electric cars.
A large majority of EU citizens are already taking individual climate action (93%) and consciously making sustainable choices in their daily lives. However, when asked who is responsible for tackling climate change, citizens underlined the need for other reforms to accompany individual action – pointing also to the responsibility of national governments (56%), the EU (56%) and business and industry (53%).
European citizens also feel the threat of climate change in their daily lives. On average, over a third of Europeans feel personally exposed to environmental and climate-related risks and threats, with more than half feeling this way in 7 Member States, mostly in Southern Europe but also in Poland and Hungary. 84% of Europeans agree that tackling climate change and environmental issues should be a priority to improve public health, while 63% of those surveyed agree that preparing for the impacts of climate change can have positive outcomes for EU citizens.