Nearly eight in ten Europeans say action on climate change will lead on to innovation that makes EU companies more competitive, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.
The positive outlook is stronger in western Europe, with 94% of respondents in Portugal, 88% in Sweden and 87% in Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg agreeing with the statement. In the east citizens are slightly more sceptical, but still take a positive view overall. In Czechia, 66% agree that climate change action will lead to innovation, 67% in Romania, and 69% in Bulgaria and Latvia.
The last time Europeans were asked this question was in 2019. Since then, positive perceptions have increased in 16 countries, and by as much as 21% in Estonia, for example. In eight countries, the share decreased, with Romania seeing the biggest change, falling by 8%.
Along with the hoped for environmental benefits, taking action on climate change also underpins the EU’s growth strategy for the next decade. The EU aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050, leading green innovation around the world and so improving industrial competitiveness. To speed up green innovation, at least 30% of the EU’s €2.018 trillion seven-year budget is to be spent to fight climate change.
Citizen support is needed for this. Overall, 90% of Europeans agree with the ambition of climate neutrality by 2050, and 93% say climate change is a serious problem. According to 29% of respondents, it is the single most serious problem facing the world right now, followed by pandemics, poverty and hunger, each named as the most serious concern by 17% of responde