28 May 2019, 13:21
Julian Wettengel

Germans want more climate action and faster Energiewende – study

Clean Energy Wire

Environment and climate action has become significantly more important for Germans in the past years, according to the Environmental Awareness study by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and the environment ministry (BMU). About two-thirds of Germans see environmental and climate action as a very important challenge – 11 percent more than in 2016, when the last edition of the survey came out. However, the state of the environment is considered to be much worse than before: 60 percent say it is in good shape, compared to 75 percent two years ago. The survey results show that Germans are not satisfied with the action by industry, the government, and their own behaviour. People understand the urgency, but criticise widespread inaction, said environment minister Svenja Schulze. “The government has to set better framework conditions for climate action,” she said. “That’s why I’m pushing for a socially just CO₂ price and a binding climate action law.”

UBA and BMU publish a detailed survey on environmental awareness every two years. For the current edition, about 4,000 people were surveyed in the second half of 2018. The study also finds that citizens continue to support major goals of the German energy transition. The energy transformation, in Germany widely known as the "Energiewende," is the country's planned transition to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy. Eighty-five percent of the respondents consider the phasing out of fossil fuels to be important or very important, and almost 90 percent are in favour of restructuring certain branches of industry, such as coal mining. However, 81 percent are not satisfied with the speed of the Energiewende, and a majority says the costs of it are not distributed in a fair way.

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