Climate change the second most serious problem faced by the world today

Eurobarometer: Europeans concerned about climate change. Fighting it can boost economic growth.

“The message of the European citizens is clear: the fight against climate change must remain a top priority of EU action. It confirms our belief that tackling climate change and overcoming the economic recession do not exclude each other.” That is the comment issued by Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission, after the publication of the Eurobarometer research about Europeans and their attitude toward global warming and climate change.

63% of citizens consider climate change as a very serious problem and 24% a fairly serious problem. Only 10% consider it is not a serious problem and 3% do not know. 47% of respondents consider climate change to be one of the two most serious problems facing the world today. Only poverty scores higher, being placed in the top two by 69%. Most Europeans (62%) believe it is not unstoppable.

Almost two-thirds of citizens think that fighting climate change can have a positive impact on the European economy. In total, 63% of respondents say it is the case, compared to 56% in March-April 2008. 66% also agree that “the protection of the environment can boost economic growth in the European Union”.

A majority of Europeans consider that industry, citizens themselves, national and local governments as well as EU are not doing enough to fight climate change. Only 19% think that corporations and industry are doing about the right amount to fight climate change against 30% in the case of the EU. Although those results indicate a positive evolution compared to March-April 2008, majorities from 55% to 72% think that not enough is done to fight climate change at these levels. 63% of Europeans confirm that they have taken some kind of action against climate change themselves against 31% who have not.

49% of citizens polled say they would be prepared to pay more for energy produced from sources that emit less greenhouse gases while 27% would not. 24% did not respond. Among those ready to pay more, half would not be prepared to pay more than 5% extra.


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