27 Oct 2022, 13:24
Julian Wettengel

Majority of Europeans say energy crisis should make countries speed up transition – survey

Clean Energy Wire

A majority of European Union citizens (66%) say that the war against Ukraine and its impact on the price of oil and gas should lead the bloc to speed up the green transition by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, a survey conducted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) shows. For Germany, however, this is true for only 54 percent of respondents, putting the country near the bottom of the EU ranking. The top three in the list are Croatia (81%), Italy (77%) and Hungary (77%). The remaining 34 percent (EU) and 46 percent (Germany) agreed with the statement that the bloc should “slow down the green transition to secure energy availability in the short term” in the first part of the 2022-2023 EIB Climate Survey. Germans say the priority of energy policy should be to diversify supplies to avoid dependence (39%), followed by expanding renewables (38%) and reducing the energy use of people and businesses (23%). Sixty-two percent of Germans are in favour of “heavily taxing energy consumption that has a strong impact on climate and the environment (air transport, SUVs, etc.)” and 65 percent favour lower speed limits on motorways.

Fifty-seven percent of Germans say climate change is one of the three biggest challenges that people in the country are currently facing, a notable 16 percentage points above the European average (41%) and higher than in any other EU member state. Nearly eight out of 10 Germans (79%) feel that climate change is having an impact on their everyday lives (7 percentage points more than last year). Eighty-four percent agree with the statement that governments are too slow in acting against climate change and environmental degradation, and 73 percent believe that Germany will not meet its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.

The German public increasingly puts climate action at the top of its policy priorities and remains strongly in support of the transition to a low-carbon and nuclear-free economy. The picture across Europe is more diverse, although climate is becoming a top issue almost everywhere. Russia’s war against Ukraine and its effects on energy prices and deliveries has sparked shifts in opinion on some key energy issues. Inflation has increasingly taken over as the top concern for citizens – although only 21 percent of respondents in the EIB survey named “increased cost of living” as one of the top three issues.

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