What do citizens think about climate change and the capacity of climate action to create jobs and growth? Find out in the EIB-YouGov citizen’s climate survey
A large majority of Europeans well aware of the climate change issue but 20% still not feeling concerned despite recent IPCC warnings
14% of US citizens skeptical about the reality of climate change vs 7% of Europeans
55% of Europeans expect personal negative financial impacts due to climate change, vs 40% of Chinese and 45% in the US
Citizens with lower income more worried by the negative economic impact of climate actions than high-income ones in Europe, except in Poland
Ahead of the global climate conference COP24, taking place in Poland on 3-14 December 2018, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a first-of-its-kind citizens climate survey, in partnership with the global public opinion company YouGov, to find out how 25 000 citizens in the European Union, the United States, and China, feel about climate change. Today the EIB is presenting the findings of the first two parts of its survey.
Despite encouraging trends in climate awareness across Europe, the survey shows that 20% of EU citizens still do not feel concerned when thinking about climate change. When compared to the United States and China, Europeans have a much stronger understanding of the challenges of climate change. 78% of Europeans describe themselves as being concerned or alarmed about climate change compared to 65% in China and 63% in the US.
The survey also revealed that there is only a very small proportion of skeptical Europeans, 7% compared with 14% of US citizens who express skepticism about climate change.
Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice President responsible for climate action and environment said: “The EIB Climate Survey sends an important signal to delegates at COP24 in Katowice, that citizens are increasingly aware of the challenges posed by climate change. This is key to the international climate debate because citizens already are making a difference through their individual actions. It is now up to businesses, citizens, governments at all levels and public institutions to use this momentum and work together. The EIB stands ready to play its part”.
Regarding the public’s perception of the impact of climate action on job creation and economic growth, the survey found that EU citizens are more pessimistic than their Chinese and US counterparts: Europeans express greater concern about the financial impact of climate change. 55% of Europeans consider that the financial impact of climate change will affect them personally – as compared to 40% of Chinese and 45% of US respondents. According to the survey, Americans are also the most optimistic regarding the economic benefits of measures to combat climate change: 26% believe the effect of climate action can be positive on the economy in contrast to only 21% of Europeans and 11% of Chinese.
Against this backdrop, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is committed to serving as one of the largest sources of finance worldwide to fight climate change: the EIB has invested over EUR 130bn globally, supporting the delivery of over EUR 600bn in climate action investment since 2011 – roughly the equivalent of the Polish GDP.
Monica Scatasta, the Head of Environment, Climate and Social Policy at the EIB, said: “Finance is a key factor in the global fight against climate change and its negative impacts. At the EIB, we strongly believe that financing climate action is also key to harness growth and innovation opportunities. We are convinced that measures aimed at addressing climate change can also generate sizeable benefits for economic growth and create a significant number of new jobs. But public finance alone, including from international institutions, is not sufficient. Investors, entrepreneurs, and all economic actors have a role to play against the threats of climate change. At the EIB we are working alongside our partners to help mobilize these forces for climate action”.