The recent UN report on the rapid advance of climate change and its dire implications for the planet have alerted European politicians, the public, and the EU itself to the necessity of action to curb climate change. It is the topic of the UN-led COP24 talks in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 2 to 14, 2018.

This makes the findings of the most recent study of the European Social Survey (ESS) all the more timely as it charts what European burghers think about global warming – and the measures deemed necessary to slow it. The 23-country survey covers 18 EU countries, including the UK, as well as Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, Russia and Israel.

In Europe, the survey underscores, most citizens believe that climate change in is progress (over 90%), that it’s at least partially human-made (about 90%), and that it bodes ill (about 65%). Yet, only about a quarter of those polled said they were very or extremely worried about climate change. Just 28% of people expressed a high level of concern about global warming. Concern about climate change is particularly high in Portugal, Spain and Germany. Those polled in 16 of the 23 countries were more worried about the affordability of energy than the impact of climate change. In the EU/EFTA countries, renewable energies are highly favored  – particularly hydro-electric or wind power – while coal and nuclear are distinctly unpopular sources of electricity generation.

Please find the full ESS study on

(Text author: Paul Hockenos)