European Perceptions of Climate Change

A recent Ipsos survey for an international research consortium led by Cardiff University explored public perceptions of climate change in four European countries – France, Germany, Norway and the UK.

The survey repeated questions about broad belief in and concern around climate change, adding additional trend data to previous UK climate change surveys, and new international comparator data. It also explored views of various domestic and international climate policies, including energy sources, and the individual and national socio-political values that may underlie perceptions of climate change.

The survey found that over 80% in all four countries believe climate change is happening, and 60% believe that we are already feeling the effects of climate change. Just 24% to 35% believe there is strong scientific consensus on climate change.

There is broad support in all four countries for being part of the Paris international climate change agreement, and for using public money to help both their own and developing countries deal with the impacts of climate change, and to subsidise renewable energy sources. Most do not agree that climate change is one of the causes of the high number of refugees coming to Europe. That said, 30% (in the UK), 37% (in France), 39% (in Germany) and 57% (in Norway) think that climate change will lead to more migration to their country in the future.

The study was co-ordinated by Cardiff University in collaboration with the University of Stuttgart in Germany, Institut Symlog in France, the University of Bergen and the Rokkan Centre in Norway, and Climate Outreach in the UK.

Download a full copy of Cardiff University’s report using this Ipsos data.

The study comprised four identical nationally representative surveys of people aged 15+ conducted in the UK (n=1,033 interviews), Germany (1,001) and France (1,010) and by telephone in Norway (1,004).