16 Oct 2023, 13:33
Sören Amelang

Economic concerns dominate Germans’ fears, climate change in 10th place – survey

Clean Energy Wire

A large majority of Germans are worried that the ongoing rise in everyday costs will erode their standard of living, according to a survey by insurer R+V. "People feel their livelihoods are threatened and see their standard of living at risk. This fuels fears of social decline," explained political scientist Isabelle Borucki from Marburg University, who accompanied the study. The three biggest fears for people in Germany identified in the survey revolve around economic concerns: 65 percent worry about increasing living costs, 60 percent about unaffordable housing, and 57 percent about tax increases or benefit cuts. Despite the economic slump, however, the fear of a worsening economic situation declined compared to the previous year. At the same time, the survey revealed a significant increase in concerns that the number of refugees could overwhelm society and the authorities.

Climate change came 10th in the insurer’s ranking of the most common fears, with almost half of respondents saying they are very afraid of its consequences, closely followed by concerns that natural disasters will become more frequent. While climate change fears rose to their highest level since this question was first included in the survey in 2018 in western Germany (49 percent), it fell to its lowest level in the East of the country (40 percent).

In two recent state elections, government coalition parties suffered heavy losses, while populists - including the far-right AfD - were on the rise. Voters cited economic concerns, climate policies and immigration as the most important topics.

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