Survey: Climate change ‘most pressing issue’ to Europeans
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Climate change is considered to be the most pressing global issue for Europeans, according to a new survey carried out by Swedish Vattenfall.
Taken in June, well into the coronavirus pandemic, 28% of respondents stressed climate change, ahead of epidemics or diseases (20%, up from 6%) and economic recession (11%, up from 6%), despite the latter two’s relevance at this stage.
More people listed that they were “a great deal worried” about climate change in June (28%) compared to December 2019 (22%). In terms of emotions, 41% of survey respondents were “anxious about what might happen to our planet” and 33% (a decrease) were “angry about the lack of effort being made to stop climate change.”
Nearly 2 in 3 respondents (63%) reported that “the highest priority should be given to continuing (or increasing) climate change commitments, even if it slows down the economy.”
“These results should provide comfort,” said psychologist Renee Lertzman, who was consulted for Vattenfall’s report. “They show that our concern and duty of care for the world can be awakened during times of immense crisis – when we feel part of something much bigger.”
“They also indicate that the durable and consistent anxieties and worries about climate change amidst such global health challenges can be a good thing,” she added. “Ultimately they will drive us to action.”