According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov in seven European countries, there is growing concern among Europeans about the climate crisis. The survey indicates that many Europeans are willing to take personal action and support government policies to address the crisis. However, the level of support decreases as the proposed measures would significantly impact their lifestyles.

The survey examined public support for climate action at the state level, including measures like banning single-use plastics and phasing out fossil-fuel cars. It also explored individual initiatives such as buying only secondhand clothes and reducing meat and dairy consumption.

The findings revealed that people were more inclined to support measures that would not drastically disrupt their current way of life. However, they were less enthusiastic about larger-scale actions that might be necessary to effectively combat the climate crisis. A significant majority in all surveyed countries expressed worry about climate change and its effects, ranging from 60% in Sweden, 63% in Germany, and 65% in the UK to 77% in Spain, 79% in France, and 81% in Italy.

Similarly, a considerable percentage of respondents in most countries attributed climate change to human activity, with fewer than 20% denying this link and a maximum of 5% denying climate change altogether.

There was strong support, ranging from 76% to 85%, for the belief that collaborative efforts among countries would be more effective in addressing climate change. However, there was less agreement among respondents regarding their personal willingness to take action.

Measures that did not require significant lifestyle changes received higher levels of support. For instance, between 45% (Germany) and 72% (Spain) of respondents backed government tree-planting programs, while 60% (Spain) and 77% (UK) expressed their intention to grow more plants themselves or were already doing so.

Between 40% (Denmark) and 56% (UK, Spain, and Italy) of respondents indicated their willingness to permanently stop purchasing single-use plastic products, and between 63% (Sweden) and 75% (Spain) would support a government ban on such items.

Similarly, there was solid support, ranging from 28% in Germany to 43% in Italy, for the idea of reducing meat and dairy consumption to two or three meals per week. Between 24% (UK) and 48% (Italy) would support government legislation to enforce such limitations.

Government subsidies to improve home energy efficiency were widely popular, with support ranging from 86% in Spain to 67% in Germany. However, personal financial responsibility for home improvements garnered less support, ranging from 19% in Germany to 40% in Spain.

Frequent flyer levies also received broad support, ranging from 39% in Italy to 59% in Germany, with a majority in five out of the seven countries in favor. However, buying only secondhand clothes had lower support, ranging from 17% in Germany to 27% in the UK.

More radical proposals, like voluntarily giving up meat and dairy consumption or having fewer children than desired, had support from only around 10% (Germany) to 19% (Italy) and 9% (Germany) to 17% (Italy), respectively.

Regarding changes in car use, a significant contributor to carbon emissions and an area where European governments are already implementing legislation, responses correlated closely with the impact on people’s lives.

When asked about willingness to switch to electric cars, an average of just under a third of respondents across the seven countries answered positively, ranging from 19% in Germany to 40% in Italy.

Responses varied when it came to giving up driving altogether in favour of public transport, walking, or cycling. In France, Spain, and Italy, 35%, 44%, and 40% respectively said they would be willing to make the move.

Support was lower in Britain (22%), Germany (24%), Denmark (20%) and Sweden (21%) – although 25% of French, and 28% of Germans, said they already walked, cycled or used public transport rather than driving, against 11% to 16% elsewhere.

An obligatory increase in fuel duty, however, and government legislation banning the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars outright, were not popular. Those opposed to paying more fuel tax outnumbered those in favour in all countries.

And asked what they thought of a ban on fossil fuel cars, only in Spain and Italy were more people happy with the idea than opposed to it – with the level of opposition in countries such as France and Germany, at more than 60%, almost double the support.



At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The declines in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their declines towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect for the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

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