A quarter of people living in Belgium think that climate change is the most serious problem the world is facing today, worse than poverty, hunger, a lack of drinking water and infectious diseases, according to a recent survey by the European Commission.
The latest Eurobarometer study, aimed at gauging how European felt about climate change, showed that more than nine in ten Europeans believe that climate change is a serious problem, with 78% saying it is a very serious problem, making it the first time climate change ranks ahead of other global challenges.
In Belgium, climate change was also the item most mentioned by all respondents, as 61% of the over 1,000 people living in Belgium who took part in the survey mentioned it.
In general, the average score of severity given to climate change as a challenge increased the most in Belgium, where it was given a score of 8.02, up by 0.52 since the last similar survey in 2019.
Meanwhile, around 90% of people living in Belgium said that more public financial support should be used for the transition to clean energies even if it means subsidies for fossil fuels are reduced, more than the EU average of just over 60%.
Around half of respondents from all member states said they believed the money from the economic recovery plan should mainly be invested in the new green economy. The European climate ambitions seem to be popular in Belgium, as 87% of respondents agreed with this statement.
However, climate change wasn’t seen as the worst problem in all countries, as in 12 EU countries, mainly in Eastern Europe, the spread of infectious diseases is cited most often, whilst in another four countries, poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water were ranked as the biggest problem.
The decline of democracy and the rule of law, the growth of the world population and economic situations globally were other serious challenges named in the survey.