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Only one EU country thinks its government is doing enough on climate crisis, new survey finds

Recycling was one of the most popular personal climate actions in the EU.
Recycling was one of the most popular personal climate actions in the EU. Copyright Pexels
Copyright Pexels
By Rosie Frost
Published on Updated
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Popular personal climate actions include recycling, cutting down on plastic waste and buying more efficient appliances.


More than 6 in 10 EU citizens say they have taken action to fight climate change over the last six months.

That is according to a survey of 26,358 people from different social and demographic groups across the bloc.

Carried out by the European Commission, it found that a huge majority of Europeans - 93 per cent - believe that climate change is a serious problem facing the world.

Respondents in seven countries said climate change is the most serious problem the world is facing right now: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Sweden. For 16 of the 27 EU member states, it ranks among the top three.

So where do the most people say they are taking action on climate change and who do Europeans think is responsible?

Where in Europe are the most people taking personal action on climate change?

The highest percentage of people taking personal action was in Luxembourg (82 per cent), closely followed by Finland and Sweden (81 per cent each).

The countries where the lowest number of people said they were taking personal action were Poland (39 per cent), Bulgaria (35 per cent) and Romania (29 per cent).

Reducing plastic use was a popular climate action across the EU.Pexels

In Luxembourg, reducing waste and separating it for recycling was the most popular action. Cutting down consumption of disposable items like plastic bags and buying more organic food was third. 

Recycling was also popular with respondents in Finland and Sweden followed by reducing the use of excess packing. Using environmentally friendly alternatives to a private car like cycling or taking public transport was the next most common climate action in these two countries.

Who do Europeans think should take action on climate change?

While many are choosing to change their lifestyles in an effort to be more green, just 35 per cent of people hold themselves personally responsible.

A majority of people think that the European Union, national governments, businesses and industry are responsible for tackling climate change.

More than two-thirds of EU citizens think that their government isn’t doing enough to tackle climate change. That figure has decreased by eight per cent since spring 2021.

In all but one member state - Finland - respondents are most likely to say their government isn’t doing enough.

And people are optimistic about what improving the EU’s climate action could do. Three-quarters believe it could lead to innovation that will help companies across the bloc.

“European citizens understand the threat of climate change, and continue to support climate action by the EU, national governments, business and individuals,” EU green chief Frans Timmermans said.

“The results of this survey are a powerful reminder that popular support to advance with the European Green Deal remains as high as ever. It is up to politicians and decision-makers to heed that call.”

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