Majority of Germans want more laws, less personal responsibility in climate protection efforts - survey
Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel
A majority of Germans want to see more government regulation when it comes to climate protection, according to a new survey of more than 2,000 people conducted by the Kantar opinion research institute as part of a report by the non-profit organisation More in Common Germany. The survey found that 68 percent of respondents consider the country's previous climate policy to be haphazard and 66 percent are in favour of more regulations so that everyone does enough to protect the climate. “Although regulations are generally unpopular, they feed the hope of not constantly having to think about climate change privately,” the authors of the report Laura-Kristine Krause and Jérémie Gagné write in der Tagesspiegel. Another 70 percent of the respondents say that the economy does too little to protect the climate. "The majority of people say that it is no use 'as a private person to protect the climate as long as big companies continue to pollute,'" the authors write. While 65 percent of the public say the consequences of rising temperatures are already evident, particularly after three summer droughts in a row, an even greater majority of 80 percent says the climate debate is divisive. Some 80 percent of respondents say they are worried about climate change, although people are more concerned about nature than about their own well-being or that of the country. The greatest concerns relate to biodiversity, the landscape and the seas. This assessment is shared by all members of society, regardless of whether they are more progressive or conservative. Nevertheless, many people tend to avoid the topic in private conversations. In addition, not everyone feels comfortable with the climate movement. While some 68 percent of respondents share its fundamental concerns, almost one in two sees no room for themselves in the movement. The core emotion of many towards climate change is above all helplessness (45%) followed by disappointment (31%) and anger (27%). The frustration is apparent in how people perceive themselves and others when it comes to climate protection: While 76 percent believe their personal behaviour can make a difference, 70 percent say that most people do not take climate change seriously enough, which is why 84 percent believe they are doing as much or even more for climate protection than others.