While the majority of the Flemish population is prepared to take fewer flights and leave their cars at home more often to do their part against climate change, they are not as willing to eat less meat.
A survey conducted by the universities of Brussels and Antwerp, called ‘De Stemming’, questioned more than 2,000 Flemish people on their views on climate change. Commissioned by VRT NWS and De Standaard, research took place between 14 and 31 March.
More than half of the respondents (58%) are in favour of more expensive airline tickets, as a means of making flying less interesting, and 65% are prepared to fly less.
Just under half of those surveyed (47%) are also in favour of road user charges as a means of reducing CO2 emissions, and 60% are prepared to use their car less.
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"Green voters are big proponents of it, and (liberal) Open VLD members also like it," researcher Stefaan Walgrave of the University of Antwerp told De Standaard. "That is completely different with the electorate of (far-right) Vlaams Belang, the (right-wing) N-VA and (far-left) PVDA."
Eating less meat, however, is a different story. The willingness of Flemish people to reduce their meat consumption is noticeably less great (51%), certainly among Vlaams Belang and N-VA voters.
While green voters are generally more willing to take action for the climate than Vlaams Belang, that order of willingness (fly less, drive less, eat less meat) applies to the voters of every party, the researchers noted.
The striking conclusion, they said, is that all participants, no matter their political preference, find eating less meat the most difficult. "However, it could be that that figure is somewhat skewed because of vegetarians who literally cannot eat less meat."