Germans say incentives better than bans to promote climate-friendly behaviour – poll
A majority of Germans (72 %) say incentives are a better way of persuading the population to adopt more climate-conscious behaviour, while just 15 percent said bans were most effective, according to a poll by public broadcaster ARD. Ninety-two percent of Germans say the expansion of renewable energies is a “sensible” measure to ensure climate protection, while 71 percent said the same about raising prices for air travel, and almost all (97 %) about the promotion of innovation and research. As the debate about how to put a price on CO2 in Germany continues, ARD’s poll showed that only 35 percent of citizens say the introduction of a CO2 tax is a sensible climate action measure.
The German public remains strongly in support of the transition to a low-carbon and nuclear-free economy and climate action, as polls throughout the years have shown. In May 2019, about two-thirds of Germans said they saw environmental and climate action as a very important challenge – 11 percent more than in 2016. After the European elections in 2019, polls showed that environment and climate topped the voters’ list of reasons for their decision.
If there was to be a federal election in Germany now, the Green Party would receive 26 percent of the votes – tying with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance for the highest level of support, says ARD. The German government coalition is becoming increasingly fragile as election losses have shown that ever more voters are turning away from the established forces in the political centre, with the pro-climate action Green Party biting into traditional voter camps of both the SPD and the CDU/CSU.