According to a recent Eurobarometer survey carried out by the European Commission, European citizens are very concerned about climate change and support EU-wide measures to tackle it.
- Three quarters of respondents in Ireland see climate change as a ‘very serious’ problem (75%, just below the EU average of 79%), a significant increase of seven percentage points (pp) since the previous survey in 2017.
- More than one quarter think that it is the most serious problem facing the world (26%, above the EU average of 23%), an increase of 13 pp since 2017.
More than six in ten of those surveyed say they have personally taken action to fight climate change in the past six months (62% vs the EU average of 60%), a substantial increase of 12 pp since 2017. When given specific examples of climate actions, the proportion rises to 96% (vs the EU average of 93%).
- The most frequently cited action is trying to reduce waste and regularly separating it for recycling (70% vs the EU average of 75%). Moreover, the proportion who regularly use environmentally-friendly alternatives to their private car has increased by 13 pp to 36% (just under the EU average of 37%).
- Those surveyed in Ireland are much more likely to agree that adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change can have positive outcomes for citizens (88% vs the EU average of 70%), reducing fossil fuel imports can increase energy security and benefit the EU economically (84% vs EU average of 72%), and that more public financial support should be given to the transition to clean energies (90% vs the EU average of 84%, a two pp increase since 2017).
- Nearly all respondents think it is important that their government sets targets to increase the use renewable energy by 2030 (95%, just above the EU average of 92%), and should provide support for improving energy efficiency by 2030 (93%, as opposed to the EU average of 89%).
- Most importantly, 92% of respondents (equal to the EU average) support the aim of a climate-neutral EU by 2050.