The climate emergency is no longer a debate
At a time when purchasing power is the primary concern in daily life, European citizens are nevertheless fully aware of the climate emergency. It is the second most important concern for them. More than two-thirds declare themselves anxious about climate change.
Habits that are starting to change...
Europeans have begun to adopt new habits, whether in the areas of housing, mobility or consumption: 79% reduce the heating in their homes, 64% limit their car journeys, 52% say they have reduced or stopped eating meat.
These changes are not only motivated by their environmental impact: the economic dimension also plays an important role in today’s context of soaring energy prices.
...despite some reluctance
Conversely, among citizens who have not changed their daily habits, we can observe a reluctance to change their lifestyles. This is for example the case of meat consumption: 63% of those who have not changed anything simply do not want to do so.
A third (37%) of Europeans are also very sceptical about the benefits of the energy transition, believing that it will have more negative than positive effects on their quality of life and well-being. Fear of being too constrained?
The risk of an unfair transition
Europeans are very divided when it comes to assessing the level of effort required of them in the context of the energy transition. One third believe that too much is being asked of them, one third not enough and one third are satisfied.
This dichotomy is also apparent between the categories perceived as more "polluting" and doing little on the one hand (large companies and wealthy individuals) and those considered more "sober" and more penalized (particularly modest individuals and SMEs). The risk of social inequalities generated by the transition is perceived as high, especially for those who are obliged to travel by car and the others: 70% see a risk of inequality.
Binding solutions are less well accepted
To involve citizens in the energy transition, they prefer financial incentives (76% consider them effective). More restrictive measures, such as taxes, are less accepted and considered ineffective by 28% of citizens, suggesting hostile reactions if they are implemented.
One figure finally sums up the urgency of leaving no one behind: more than half (55%) of Europeans fear that the energy transition will further fragment society. It is therefore imperative to consider the vulnerability and the higher impact suffered by certain populations.
About this study
These are the findings of a 10-country study survey conducted by Ipsos for BNP Paribas. Ipsos interviewed an international sample of 9445 adults aged 18 and older in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.