83% of Greeks believe that tackling climate change and its consequences is the biggest challenge of the 21st century

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The first part of the 2021-2022 EIB Climate Survey explores people’s views on climate change in a rapidly changing world. The results from this release focus on citizens’ perceptions of climate change and the actions they expect their country to take to combat it. 

  • 76% believe that they are more concerned about the climate emergency than their government
  • 88% feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives
  • 62% think the country will fail in drastically reducing its carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged in the Paris Agreement
  • 60% are in favour of stricter government measures that impose changes on people’s behaviour (11 points lower than last year)
  • 74% would welcome a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming
  • 88% say they want to replace short-distance flights by fast, low-polluting trains in collaboration with neighbouring countries

83% of Greek people think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge for humanity in the 21st century. The vast majority of Greek people (88%) also feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives (five points above the European average of 77%).

However, this apparent consensus hides some gaps between different groups of the Greek population. Very diverse levels of concern and expectations on the topic of the climate can be seen among younger and older citizens, among men and women and across different socioeconomic categories.

These are some of the results from the first release of the 2021-2022 Climate Survey published on October 27 by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

Perception of the climate crisis: The country’s fight against climate change

76% believe that they are more concerned about the climate emergency than their government. As a consequence, they are fairly pessimistic regarding their country’s capability to undergo an ambitious green transition. Only 38% think that Greece will succeed in drastically reducing its carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged in the Paris Agreement. The majority (62%) think that Greece will fail to meet its reduced carbon emission targets. The generational gap here is telling, with a 16-point difference between people younger than 30 (30% of them believe Greece will succeed) and people older than 64 (46%). 54% of people over 64 believe Greece will actually fail to meet the 2050 deadline. 70% of 15-29 year-old respondents share this pessimism.

As a consequence, almost two-thirds (60%) of Greek people are in favour of stricter government measures — similar to the ones implemented to combat the COVID-19 crisis — that would impose changes on people’s behaviour (11 points lower than last year, 71%).

The vast majority of Greek people (88%) feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives.

Meanwhile, only 9% of Greek people believe that global warming is not due to human activities.

The energy debate

When asked about the source of energy their country should rely on to fight global warming, the majority of Greek people favour renewable energies (61%) to address the climate emergency. This sentiment is shared even more by Europeans as a whole (63%). Support for renewables in Greece is seen strongly among people over 64 (74%). This figure drops 15 points for people younger than 30 (59% in favour). Greek women support renewables less strongly than men (58% compared to 64%), a difference of six points. 52% of lower-income earners would support further development of renewable energies, compared to 60% of higher-income earners.

Greek people overall are less supportive of nuclear energy than other Europeans (5% vs. 12%). In Greece, people older than 64 (3%) are less in favour of nuclear energy than people younger than 30 (6%).

Finally, Greek people are slightly more likely to think that their country should rely on energy savings than other Europeans (21% vs. 17%). Saving energy is ranked far above an increased role for natural gas (12%). The gender gap in energy savings is also noticeable: women (26%) are much more inclined to support energy savings than men (15%).

Most popular solutions to fight climate change among Greek people

The majority of Greek people (74%) would support — to a greater extent than Europeans in general (69%) — the introduction of a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming. Even among respondents with lower incomes, 68% would be in favour of such a tax in Greece. They are also in favour of a 5-year minimum warranty on any electric or electronic product (92%) and replacing short-distance flights with fast, low-emission trains (90%). They also favour softer measures like strengthening education and increasing youth awareness of sustainable consumption (95%).

EIB Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen said: “I am happy to see that a strong majority of Greeks, similar to other Europeans, think that climate change and its consequences are the biggest challenge of our current times. I believe that the recent fires may have contributed to the vast majority of Greeks reporting that they feel the impact on their everyday lives. The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of my current role, I am overseeing operations in Greece that pursue these objectives. The intensified climate action and cooperation between the EIB and the Greek Government on the energy transition includes developing the country’s infrastructure to enable the increased use of private electric vehicles in Greece, decarbonising islands, which is key to promoting local sustainable tourism, replacing bus fleets in Athens and Thessaloniki with zero-emission buses and scaling up Greece’s circular economy.”  

Download the Excel spreadsheet with the raw data for all 30 countries surveyed here. Please click here to access the EIB website that presents key findings of the EIB Climate Survey IV.

About the EIB Climate Survey

The European Investment Bank has launched the fourth edition of the EIB Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with market research firm BVA, the fourth edition of the EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 30 000 respondents participated in the survey between 26 August and 22 September 2021, with a representative panel for each of the 30 countries polled.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is one of the world’s largest multilateral lenders for climate action projects. The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations have also been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.

About BVA

BVA is an opinion research and consulting firm recognised as one of the most innovative market research firms in its sector. Specialised in behavioural marketing, BVA combines data science and social science to make data inspiring and bring it to life. BVA is also a member of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN), a global network of some of the world’s leading market research and survey players, with over 40 members.

Source: Einnews

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