Poll: Europeans Want Climate Action, But Less So If It Changes Lifestyles

Image copyright: The Guardian

The Facts

  • A YouGov survey in seven European countries found that many people support government efforts to combat climate change, but the more a measure would change their lifestyle, the less they support it.

  • The survey was conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, and Italy whether the respondents supported state-level climate action — such as banning single-use plastics and scrapping fossil-fuel cars, and individual actions like giving up meat and dairy products.

The Spin

Narrative A

Many Europeans are concerned about the climate crisis and would willingly take personal steps and back government policies to help combat it. But support for climate change actions diminishes the bigger effect these measures would have on people's lifestyles. This shows individual-level support, but also a good deal of "climate action for thee but not for me."

Narrative B

Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. Environmentalists have advocated for individual actions for decades and are not making the needed impact. For consumers in the industrialized world to signal virtue with their actions is irrelevant at best. The most important thing you can do as an individual is vote for leaders who will champion climate policies that work for everyone. Robust climate action needs macro solutions.

Metaculus Prediction

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