Saturday, October 8, 2011

Eurobarometer studies opinins on climate change in 2011

Eurobarometer has surveyed European citizens about their view of climate change and reports about the results in its Special Eurobarometer 372.

The Executive Summary reads:


  • Climate change remains a key concern for the European public, and a greater one than when the last special climate survey was conducted in 2009.
  • Just over half (51%) of respondents consider climate change one of the world's most serious problems (and 20% feel it is the single most serious problem). Overall it is seen as the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water, and a more serious problem than the economic situation.
  • Altogether 89% see climate change as a serious problem, with 68% considering it a very serious problem (up from 64% in 2009). On a scale of 1 (least) to 10 (most), Europeans rank the seriousness of climate change at 7.4 (against 7.1 in 2009).
  • There is also a positive view of the economic benefits of tackling climate change – almost eight in ten (78%) respondents agree that it can boost the economy and create jobs, a big increase since 2009 (when 63% agreed). At least two-thirds of respondents in each Member State share this view.
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) support basing taxation to a greater extent on energy use, with a majority in favour of this in every Member State.
  • There is a widespread expectation that Europe will become a climate-friendly, lowcarbon economy by 2050:
    - 88% believe Europe will be using more renewable energy
    - 87% expect we will be more energy-efficient
    - 73% believe that cars will be powered more efficiently.
  • Tackling climate change is seen as the responsibility mainly of national governments, EU and business. While only one in five respondents (21%) specifically state it is their own responsibility to tackle climate change, a further 23% say everyone (governments, industry and individuals) needs to share responsibility.
  • Just over half (53%) of EU citizens say they took some kind of action to combat climate change over the last six months; when prompted with specific actions, however, a higher proportion appear to be actively engaged.
  • Separating and recycling waste separation is the most common action undertaken, with 66% having done this. Buying fewer disposable items and purchasing local and seasonal produce come next.

6 comments:

stan said...

The economic attitudes and understandings demonstrated by this poll provide insight into how Europeans built such a solid economies and a sound financial system.

Reiner Grundmann said...

Three things stand out in my view:

The European public is convinced that climate change is real, they are optimistic that it can be dealt with without harming the economy, but they are also cautious as regards their own contribution.

From this three slightly provocative hypotheses could be derived:
1 climate science cannot be the focus of political attention. There is no need for more information. The public is already convinced (and has been for a long time)
2 we do not know if the belief in greening the economy is more than wishful thinking, especially since
3 the personal commitment is not very strong.

By this I do not mean to accuse the public, quite the contrary. Politicians need to take into account that despite the general support for climate policy there are limits as to what can be expected from citizens.

It is telling that the question on taxation was formulated in a way which did not openly ask about their readiness to accept 'high energy' prices. The question implies that as energy taxes go up other taxes will be reduced and no personal income loss results.

Roddy said...

I clicked on the link, but it doesn't work, so it;s difficult to comment without access to the source?

Hans von Storch said...

Thanks, Roddy - is corrected. Hans

Fernando said...

Creo que esta encuesta está manipulada para conseguir los resultados buscados desde el momento en que la pregunta (Which of the following do you consider to be the single most serious problem facing the world
as a whole?) viene condicionada por la primera opción de respuesta (Climate change).
Lo correcto, como suele hacer el CIS en España, es hacer preguntas sin respuestas condicionantes, tipo:
¿Cual es el problema que considera más importante hoy día en el mundo? Y que cada uno conteste lo que quiera.
Si se hubiera hecho así, seguro que el Cambio Climático hubiera pasado a ocupar los últimos lugares de la encuesta.
La prueba: vean las encuestas de población activa que se realizan en España.

Fernando said...

I think this survey is manipulated to achieve the desired results from the moment the question (Which of the Following do you Consider to be the single MOST Serious Problem Facing the world
as a whole?) is conditioned by the first response option (Climate change).
Right, as he usually does the CIS in Spain, is to ask questions without answers conditioning, type:
What is the problem considered more important in today's world? And each answer he wants.
If this had been done, sure that climate change had come to occupy the last places in the survey.
Proof: see the labor force surveys carried out in Spain.