08 Jul 2024, 13:36
Jennifer Collins

Europeans over 30 understand climate change causes better than youngsters – survey

Clean Energy Wire

Europeans aged over 30 show a better grasp of the causes and consequences of climate change than younger generations - but awareness of solutions is lacking across age groups, found a survey by the European Investment Bank (EIB). Seventy-four percent of survey respondents in the EU aged over 30 recognised the importance of recycling, compared to 66 percent under 30. Nearly half of the older group of respondents were aware of the benefits of insulating buildings to address climate change, compared to around a third of younger respondents. A similar generational gap exists in Germany, where over 50s know more than younger respondents about climate change causes, consequences and solutions. Germans ranked tenth in their climate knowledge compared to other European states, according to the EIB survey of 30,000 people in 35 countries, including in the EU and the US. The Finnish are the most knowledgeable Europeans on the subject.   

Europeans scored much higher than their US counterparts in correctly identifying the definition, causes and consequences of climate change. But a majority in both regions knew that climate change is a "long-term shift in global climate patterns" and that human activities including deforestation, agriculture and industry are causing it. Some 85 percent of Europeans and 68 percent of Americans knew that extreme weather related to climate change is affecting crop yields and thus worsening world hunger. But 45 percent of Americans believe that sea levels are falling rather than rising. Some 71 percent of Europeans correctly said sea levels are rising.

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