According to a new Eurobarometer survey, environmental protection is important to 94% of citizens across all EU Member States. Tweet This! Additionally, 91% of citizens stated that climate change is a serious problem in the EU and 83% said European legislation is needed to protect the environment.
The Eurobarometer survey showed that citizens want more to be done to protect the environment, including by big companies and industry, national governments and the EU, as well as citizens themselves. According to the citizens interviewed, the most effective ways of tackling environmental problems are ‘changing the way we consume’ and ‘changing the way we produce and trade’.
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “The results of this survey are no surprise to us. With the European Green Deal these are exactly the citizens’ concerns that we want to address. I am encouraged to see that there is support for the fundamental changes we are going to make in our society and economy, and that people want to play an active role in this change.”
According to the survey, climate change, air pollution, and waste are the three most important environmental issues. More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents said that environmental issues directly impacted their daily life and health, while over eight in ten citizens were worried about the impact of chemicals present in everyday products.
There is widespread acknowledgement that fundamental changes may be needed. Amongst the more than 27,000 people interviewed, there is solid support for policy measures aimed at reducing plastic waste and littering. The survey also revealed that citizens believe products should be designed in a way that facilitates recycling of plastic. Accordingly, industry and retailers should make an effort to reduce plastic packaging, and people should be educated on how to reduce their plastic waste. Local authorities should also provide more and better collection facilities for plastic waste.
The survey also examined attitudes towards the clothing industry, and found high levels of concern regarding environmental issues and working conditions. Respondents expressed a desire for clothing that lasted longer, made of materials that could be recycled.
Finally, support was expressed for other measures, including investment in research and development, more information and education, encouraging businesses to engage in sustainable activities and stricter legislative control.
This survey was conducted between 6 and 19 December 2019 in the then 28 EU Member States. Some 27,498 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed, face-to-face at home in their mother tongue.
This Special Eurobarometer survey was the follow-up of a Special Eurobarometer survey conducted in October 2017, on the same topic. Many of the questions were repeated in this Special Eurobarometer.
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