Germans wary of costs and lifestyle changes due to climate protection – survey
Clean Energy Wire
Germans doubt that climate protection and economic growth can be achieved together, and while almost everyone is in favour of climate protection, only one in two is actually willing to pay for it, according to a survey commisioned by the Joint Committee of German Trade and Industry. Conducted by Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy, the survey of around 1000 respondents found that while Germans are largely satisfied with the country’s social market economy, almost the same amount of respondents (55%) said climate protection should not cost consumers anything. Most Germans see afforestation of natural lands as the best measure to promote climate protection, followed by research, home renovations, renewable energy expansion, bicycle paths and the phase-out of coal. At the tail end of favoured climate protection measures were higher prices for air travel and driving, and a ban on oil heaters. “The population is pro climate protection, but only to a limited extent if it leads to additional costs,” said Allensbach project manager Steffen de Sombre. A third of those surveyed nevertheless said they would pay more for climate-friendly products, especially when it came to nutrition. Yet the report makes evident the doubts people have about the fundamental compatibility of Germany’s social market economy with climate protection: 43 percent think it’s possible, while 27 percent do not. “If social support is too weak, the risk increases that we will not stick to the path of transforming our energy system,” said Siegfried Russwurm, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Russwurm stressed the importance of honesty in communicating to the public that the energy transition will not succeed without restrictions. Other recent surveys have shown greater public support for climate action.