More than half of Europeans want to see the green energy transition sped up

green energy transition

The results of a new European Commission climate change survey have revealed that Europeans across the continent hold some very strong opinions on the bloc’s efforts to move towards a greener future. 

More than three quarters of Europeans consider climate change to be a “serious issue”, with seven in 27 Member States putting it at the top of the list as the biggest problem facing the world today.  

While 35% hold themselves personally responsible for climate change action, others lay that responsibility at the door of the European Union (EU), their national government, and businesses and industries, and many believe that these decision-makers could be doing more. 

One thing that does unite the vast majority, however, is a desire to see the green energy transition increase in speed and traction.   

Emissions targets, energy efficient and innovation 

58% of people think the green economy transition should be happening faster, 88% believe greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced to a minimum, 87% think it is important that the EU sets “targets to increase renewable energy use”, and 85% would like to see the EU bolster efforts to improve energy efficiency, citing installing solar panels, buying electric cars and better insulating homes as ways to achieve that goal. Nearly eight in 10 of those surveyed backed the idea that more public financial support should be allocated to the green energy transition for clean energies. 

Almost three quarters believe the cost of damage being done by unsustainable practices is higher than the price of investing in cleaner technologies, while 75% agree that “taking action on climate change will lead to innovation that will make EU companies more competitive”. 

Personal responsibility 

The findings also revealed that 93% of European citizens are taking action to combat climate change themselves through making daily sustainable choices. This sense of personal responsibility is echoed in the views of the 84% that argue confronting climate change and other environmental threats should be a public health priority. 

A third of Europeans – the figure is higher for those living in Southern Europe – feel they are being exposed to climate-related risks in their day-to-day lives.

“European citizens understand the threat of climate change, and continue to support climate action by the EU, national governments, business and individuals,” says Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal. “They recognise the long-term risks posed by the climate and biodiversity crises, but also the opportunity that we have to build a brighter, healthier and safer future if we act now on the green transition. 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.” 

More than 26,000 citizens from different backgrounds, countries and social groups were polled for the survey.  


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Photo source: Appolinary Kalashnikova, Unsplash